I’ve had a lot of time to ponder life recently, thanks to a mild case of middle of the night insomnia. I looked it up – it’s a real thing, complete with its own abbreviation: MOTN. It’s also referred to as middle insomnia, which is the name I like best – like Middle-earth only less exciting and more annoying.
Anyway, MOTN has given me time to reflect on the absence of writing here. In the wee hours of the morning, I think: It’s not for lack of trying, I’ve just used up all of my words between work and writing classes. Then, I debate posting a recent assignment instead of attempting a new post but, somehow, that feels like cheating.
I begin to imagine that I really did use up my words — that I’d been so prolific I eliminated half my vocabulary.
What would happen if words did have an expiry date or maximum use limit?
It might be wonderful — being able to permanently delete words that irritate me. With the lights out, I would grab my favourite blanket and curl into the fetal position to prepare for battle: panties panties panties panties panties. I’d rely on my husband to bring me water when I was parched, and be my cheerleader when I wanted to give up. ‘Panties’ would be no more.
Then, I’d support my husband as he prepared for a fight of his own: titch titch titch titch titch. Okay, if I’m honest, I’d probably sabotage him. I’d tell him the wrong word limit or interrupt him with endless “emergencies” because it would be too sad for me to lose the word. I slip ‘titch’ into general conversation whenever I can because his hatred for it is most entertaining.
We may not mourn the words ‘titch’ or ‘panties’ but the loss of ‘I’, ‘no’, or ‘water’ would be much more significant. Would they be replaced by new words with the same meaning? How would we learn about the replacement? Would there be a warning or would we be left speechless unexpectedly?
This is how my mind works at 3 a.m.
At least I have lots of questions to add to my ideas folder – a possible story to flesh out, perhaps. So…thanks, middle insomnia.