“It’s called a nebuqualmlia” she said.
“A what?” I asked.
“Nebu-qualm-lia” she said slowly.
“What’s it mean?” I inquired.
“It’s the feeling of not quite having a good feeling about something.”
“Sort of like being ambivalent?”
“Only with more force and less decisiveness,” she replied.
“How can you be decisive and ambivalent at the same time?” I was puzzled.
“You can’t” then she went on, explaining, “When you’re ambivalent, it means you don’t care and can be pushed along. When you’re nebuqulamlious, it means you can be pushed along but you’ve got an odd feeling it is all going to end badly.”
“Like in a war, or a few extra pounds you’ll never get off, or your parents finding out?” I asked.
“Almost, but worse.”
“How could it be worse?” I wanted to know.
“It ends in one of those bad things, but nobody who knows you ever finds out about it, or if they do, they never mention it, and you have to live with you having gone along because you were too scared, or ambivalent, or lazy, and it all coming out hurting people and yourself, BUT you can’t say a thing because nobody knows.”
“WOW!” I was impressed. Nebuqualmlia! That is so complicated. It must be very rare!”
“No,” she said. “It’s actually common as dirt—it’s just the word that’s rare.”