Someone once told me that there exists in German a word ‘leertretung’ - literally meaning ‘voidstepping’ - which is used to refer to the weird sensation of reaching the bottom of a staircase and unconsciously expecting one more step than there is.
Voidstepping. Leertretung. That’s beautiful, isn't it? I wish we had more of this in English.
I wish there was a word for when you’re walking down the street and you start to move out of the way of somebody coming towards you, but you both move to the same side, at the same time, repeatedly.
I wish there was a word for that moment when you’re meeting lots of new people at once and you realise you've been clearly inconsistent in terms of whether you shake someone’s hand, kiss them on the cheek, or just say hello.
I wish there was a word for the sensation of waking up early on a Saturday morning, briefly thinking you have to get up for work... then feeling a wave of euphoria when you realise you don’t.
I wish there was a word for when you’re in a shop, paying for the item you've bought, and the shopkeeper says ‘thank you’, and you say ‘thank you’ as well, and then they say ‘thank you’ a second time as you make to leave, and before you know it you’re both trapped in a gratitude loop.
I wish there was a word for the full-body shiver that occurs for no obvious reason and is always unrelated to temperature.
I wish there was a word for when you’re meeting up with a friend and you spot each from a distance, which then means you have to watch each other walk for an awkward minute or so.
I wish there was a word for the covert zipping-up of your flies in public after you just realised they were undone.
I wish there was a word for the covert and entirely smooth U-turn you have to pull on the pavement when you realise you've just been walking in the wrong direction.
I wish there was a word for the precise moment in a relationship when you feel comfortable breaking wind in front of the other person.
I wish there was a word for starting to drink a glass of water and realising after the first gulp that you were much thirstier than you thought you were, and so you hurriedly drink the entire glass in one go.
I wish there was a word for love that wasn't as trite and overused and ambiguous as ‘love’; a word that didn’t just sound like you were saying it to appease the other person, a word that isn't just used because you hear it all the time in songs, plays, films and books. A word that was ours, nobody else's, entirely of our own making.
I wish there was a word for the unique elation of a wee you've been holding in for ages.
I wish there was a word for how my inability to maintain eye contact for the entirety of a conversation causes me to look briefly past my companion’s shoulder while talking to them, which in turn causes them to spin around to see what it is I've apparently just noticed.