This I Believe

Emily - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 10, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Just try to imagine a color you’ve never seen before. It’s impossible, right? Now lets say you’ve seen a totally original color, lets call it Neeuq, and it is clearly not based on any of the primary colors. Neeuq is something all together different, yet just as prominent, noticeable, and endemic as the white on your teeth or the red in your slab of steak. Just try to describe Neeuq to a person who’s never seen it and I guarantee you’ll be speechless.

I believe in the presence of Neeuq. What is Neuuq? Neeuq can be anything: an intense form of love, a feeling of grand importance with the world, an overarching anger when the ambassador’s house towers over the surrounding shacks. Neuuq is frustration. When you graduate from college and the path, which so long lay before you, suddenly roles out behind you, and there is only wet jungle standing an inch from your face; you’ll find Neuuq when you part the leaves and step in.

Iraqis can see Neuuq; they see it every time an American complains, “it is far time Iraqis stand up for themselves and defend their own nation.” Because Neuuq is by definition an uncommon background, a need for diplomacy, a point of contrast, a tabula rasa painted in finger paint, and a blank slate decorated with glue and glitter. You can’t describe Neuuq you can only acknowledge its presence. Believe in its splendor and destruction.

Neuuq is what lies between my sister and I. It stalls conversation and leaves a lingering distance whenever I describe how happy I am. Because my form of happiness is a sort of color she has never seen. Neuuq flowed through the phone cords when I told my worried mother why I accepted a job abroad and wouldn’t be coming home. I believe the car that drove me to school as a child was tinted with Neuuq, as were, the flowers at the restaurant where my last relationship ended.

Neuuq may sound like the devil incarnate. But it is my salvation and my late night realization. The search for Neuuq is the only true and consistent cause for waking up in the morning. Because I believe that for all the disparity Neeuq causes, when I see it, in whatever form it takes, everything is justified.