I recall that I am extremely forgetful. I believe I am. I think I know that I am forgetful. Though I remember having forgotten, I cannot recall what it was that I forgot or what forgetting feels like. When I was a kid, my mother tried to convince me that I was forgetful by saying, “Do you remember when you forgot your own birthday?” I think I replied, “How could I?” But it was a trick question. Saying yes would have been an admission of my forgetfulness and saying no would have been an example. “The brain does what it can,” I told her. If we remembered everything, we would have no language for remembering and forgetting. As well, nothing would be important. In fact, nothing is important. The importance of nothing is that it is the measure of that which is not nothing. Is nothing the same as nothingness? Students love to imagine such things. There is in fact no nothing; the simplistic argument for this assertion is that the observation of nothing requires an observer, and so the presence of the onlooker negates what might have been pure absence, what might have actually been nothing. If nothing falls in a forest and there is no one around to observe it, does it make a nil? The better argument, one that embodies the simple one and any other, is that one can spell nothing. Parmenides might have been a shabby dresser, but he had a point. The ontological argument might not have worked for the existence of God, but it is indisputable for the existence of nothing. Ei mitään, rien, nada, nicht, nic, dim byd, ikke noget, ingenting, waxba, tidak ada, boten, apa-apa, kitn, nihil, and nenio. Kind of an ontological argument for the existence of nothing.

My name is Wala Kitu. Wala is Tagalog for nothing, though I am not Filipino. Kitu is Swahili for nothing, though my parents are not from Tanzania. My parents, both mathematicians, knew that two negatives yield a positive, therefore am I so named. I am Wala Kitu.