so used to calling my close women friends jaan (urdu/farsi/hindi: my life, darling), habibti (arabic: beloved, my love), and all manner of affectionate words/terms of endearment. also used to saying “love u” frequently. maybe it’s just rochester and the closeness we feel towards one another, that wonderful sense of community and of being accomplices. maybe it’s the people i’m lucky to have in my life. i think others outside of that circle might sometimes do a double take or pause. it’s nothing personal really, just what i’m used to: a kind way of speaking.