We named our motorbikes. Maggie and Ruby and Banshee and Ole Betsy. We named our dogs and cats and aloe plants – Spots and Mrs. Whiskers and Chloe. We gave our children three names each, then bequeathed them nicknames – Tike and Junior and Son – and then let their classmates nickname them again – Crusty and Stud Muffin and Fishy.
But we have yet to name the feeling of sitting on the balcony, cigarette ash dripping onto our laps, swelling with emotions like love-sickness and loneliness and peace and patience all at once, with roommates downstairs hunched over the dimly flickering lights of their laptops, and friends on the way to go to a movie but knowing we’ll only talk blandly using the languages of sex and snark, and the people we love scattered in isolated pockets around the globe living separate lives. [Norman soundtrack.]