Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I was given something precious recently, an unexpected boon. It's a syllable. A sugarplum of a syllable. Specifically, a syllable in my own name. Here in Louisiana, my formerly curt “Kim” sounds as if it tastes good, its lone vowel pulled like taffy into a leisurely extra beat.
As a lover of words, I am in love with these words around me. They ooze through the humid air, one eliding into another, more like songs than sentences . . . sometimes unintelligible. The vowels pause to sunbathe, and all the endings are soft. Demanding consonants are massaged into submission, oppressive prefixes and endings simply dropped. It's all about the flow, and the conversation lilts along to its own indulgent rhythm. I had to try it. It tastes like blossoms on my tongue.
In Louisiana, I am a woman called “Keee-yim.” I like her quite a lot.