Personal Essays

all y'all

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.