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A Lesson On Language

I stood next to Hugh at the gym's West entrance desk. In between wrist flicks swiping cards, he told me he was (some unintelligible sound) watch another movie over the weekend. I asked him to repeat. What I originally thought was a slip-up, a jumbled "gonna," proved to be deliberate. He told me that under the Mason-Dixon line, "gonna" has descended into obsolete. Those about to verb are instead "fixin' to" do. Over time, slow drawls have dragged the term across blacktop, smoothing gritted syllables and broken bottle consonants into the sleeker, more portable "finna." He said you can be finna do anything, like watch Silence of the Lambs, take a three-hour nap, even fail a test. I spent the whole year trying to find a way to tell him I was finna wrap my fingers around his palm and pull him close so I could trace the outline of his heartbeat and taste the texture of his lips.

Story by:

Sara Levine

7 January 2013

Sara Levine's web:

wiggainparis.wordpress.com