I experienced a profound dislight the other morning, and just now a pure delight at enjambing (the “jam” aptly capturing the rather violent nature of this act) the words disappointment and delight to create, as though a linguistic mad scientist, this most appropriate and most necessary word, dislight.


This was, according to my wife’s dislighted phone call, our son’s first official word. He has for months now said, “hoagie,” usually in moments of delight, but as we have no hoagies in the house, nor have we bought or been given any hoagies in recent memory, we’re a little reluctant to acknowledge this as the official First, truth be told. Trucks, mostly of the delivery and garbage variety, routinely enter and later exit the alley between our apartment building and the hotel next door, providing their own mechanical ecosystem of beeps, crashes, grinds, and groans as our constant companion, our apartment soundtrack. Soundtruck, even. Our son loves them. Us, less so.

The morning of the dislight, shortly after I had left the apartment, he — according to my wife, who, given the eventual outcome, lacks all conceivable motivation to lie in these circumstances — heard the noises of an approaching truck.

Beep BEEP! craSH! Grind, groan.

thud thuD thUD tHUD THUD races Lucas up to his mama, his arms thrashing wildly upwards, churning the air, legs twitching as he struggles to gain purchase on her. She bends down and sweeps him skyward, and it’s the moment he passes her torso in his assent that he seems to say, “truck.” Now, given the particular timing and location of the utterance, perhaps he said, “trunk.” Neither is particularly satisfying as far as First, or even second words go (I’d love a dada sometime). Trunk perhaps less so. So I say again, a profound dislight!