The Nishi Monologue

21 10 2009

After not having the right word for poop, that fateful day on the bus, I learned to wait and see what words the other kids were using. Vagina was never a word that came up. Nobody talked about their vaginas. Dick was frequently referenced.  In the 5th grade, J.S. brought a condom to class and stuck it on the drinking fountain. In middle school, he showed up covered in hickies. I’m sure he knew what a vagina was.

I didn’t know what to call it until after middle school health class. We were bombarded with medical terms: STDs, condoms and VAGINA. But vagina was such an ugly word.

Before then, I knew that spot as a NISHI. Nishi sounds like a sushi roll.  Sashimi over rice delicately covered with pickled ginger with a side of wasabe and soy sauce for dipping.

When I googled Nishi, it showed up as a Japanese surname and an Indian first name. It’s Sankrit for Night.  So I googled Nishi along with Vagina and all I got was a compiled list of words for vagina from the Vagina Monologues. No history. No background. No origins.  But some other mom besides my mom used this word. I had figured it was another word Mom had made up or had been passed down from her mother– like the word she used for the cows in the field—CooBossies.

I expanded my repertoire of words from movies. In Go Fish, they are laying in circle on the floor listing all the names they know for that dark spot: Honey Pot, Bearded Clam and Love Mound. But it was Boys on the Side that had the word that stuck.

Jane: [Elaine is crying at Robin’s bedside, the nurse thinks her sniffles are relative to a cold, and tells her she could aggravate her daughter’s condition] It’s not a goddamn cold! Don’t be such a hoo-hoo.
Nurse: [apathetic] And what’s a hoo-hoo?
Elaine: [kindly] It’s a cunt, dear.
[nurse gasps]
Elaine: Now why don’t you leave us alone?

 Hoo-hoo, that’s what it is.  Only I like to spell it whowho. Maybe it should be a whatwhat.




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