The M word

by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – In today’s globalized vocabulary, words are shortened to become just letters and still maintain its original meaning. A complete sentence can now be written into 3 or 4 letters. For the uninformed, LOL means laughing out loud. Or BRB means be right back.  Or IMHO is in my humble opinion. And so on.

Then there are the just letter words. Since when did the letters become words. Towards the end of the 20th century, letter words became politically correct without being too harsh to all parties. The Big C. The F word. The L word. C = cancer. F could mean many things depending on which context it is said. If you’re mad, you say the F word. If you’re into female rights, you’re into the F word. Or if you’re a cooking, chances are you know Gordon Ramsay’s F word.  The L word has become a famous tv series in Hollywood portraying the lives of certain groups of people.

My word is the M word. Funny how the letter/word has almost the same meaning but different words in English and Binisaya. Among other things in English, it means feel regret or sadness at no longer being able to enjoy the presence of another person or company. In my language, it means lacking companions or companionship; and, characterized by or preferring solitude. Honestly, I have never used these words (the English and its Binisaya counterparts) for almost two decades now. Why is that? I am very sentimental and I travel a lot. The more that I travel, the more chances of being away from my family. The higher the possibility of getting homesick in a strange land. And nobody wants that because it spoils entirely the idea of travel. I mean what’s the point of getting/having that feeling when you’re definitely coming back home?

The thirteenth English alphabet. Middle initial of Jodie Foster's character in Silence of the Lambs.

Another possible meaning of my M word are the names of all “special” friends. I met him in high school. The next in college. Then another one in Manila. Two in Spain. Another one in Cagayan de Oro. They are so special that I had the letter M tattooed at the back of my left earlobe. Hahahaha!!!

Is it really the letter M?

It could be the letter M but it’s not. Well for me, it certainly is not. But sometimes I’d like to believe that why would I worry about the M word when it has always been within me all these years.