A Match

Typical signaling on a civilized street involves long periods of fear and occasional if brief rush of hope.
‘Nada’ is the word for hope; ‘Strah” is for fear.
The latter sounds like it could have been coined in Siberia. It was.
Once you start consuming American pop culture daily, you quickly learn other meanings for ‘nada’.
In the Old World as in New, hope is a chosen name for girls.
Nada Knežević, hope with my last name, is one of the best jazz singers the old country has produced.

When my old boyfriend brought his new girlfriend with him long ago, her name too was Nada. I sat there, I remember, I was barely 25 and she no more than 17. I realized then that I was as far from hope as it was humanly possible.
But I was still on my first quarter of the century then. It would take many a cruel sparring match between fear and hope in the years to come, with me the only one battered.

As I said, I was sitting there barely twenty five but feeling around hundred. Although it was ten years earlier when I turned 100 so by then I was hundred and ten in reality. By that age it is criminal not to have dispensed with hope. It shouldn’t have come as surprise then that hope sat out of my reach.
And she was just a sly, conniving girl posturing and sticking her tongue out at me when he wasn’t looking.

Giving up on hope wasn’t that difficult – hope is for amateurs. My one true desire was magnanimous rule of the State of Fearless. Still is.
But it never came to be.
Fear never released its hold on me
as if I
were its one and only hope.

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