The H word is everywhere. It lurks below the surface of every conversation, ready to make its appearance at the first possible opportunity.
"Do you have these turtlenecks in red? I am looking for one for my err..friend."
"You are having a party this Saturday? Great. I might be able to make it. Let me check with my um..Bill. He is coming to Chicago tomorrow."
"Yes aunty, we just got back. How is my who? Oh..him. He is fine."
"For Prague, yes, two people. Me and my um...fellow traveler."
"This is Bill, my mm...uh..weekend roomie."
So you see why I have been looking for a replacement. A word, that is. And I am happy to announce to the world that the word has been found. It wanted to be found of course, it has a mind of its own. It sounds nice, is cool and pretty accurate. Over the past week, I have tried it everywhere - I can say it so easily and it clicks with other people. The search is over. And I am going to celebrate. With my ex-boyfriend. He is in town this weekend.