I’ve always disliked my own handwriting. I hold my pen wrong: thumb on one side and all the other digits crammed opposite like I’m trying to keep hold of a tree branch. “Don’t hold it like that,” they said, “you’ll get cramps,” and slid a rubber prism over my pencil shaft. It didn’t help.
At school it was a running joke that no one could read my writing. The favorite theory was that I myself couldn’t read it either, and when called on to read back a document in my own hand, I’d just dip into my computer-like memory banks and pull up the moment when I originally wrote it down.
In fourth or fifth grade came one of many siftings, where from a group of undifferentiated scrawling kids the girls suddenly separated themselves out; their lettering became beautiful. I envied them that as I envied them everything, and didn’t think about the labor that had gone into it.
It was such a relief to switch to typing as a medium and abstract all corporeal messiness out of the picture. No one would see the record of my body in motion. How could I learn to write when I didn’t even know how to walk? All that I gave up—and only felt as a loss years later, when learning to write foreign alphabets—was the hope of
(J. says that R.’s handwriting looks like mine but I don’t see it)