When I began, I started with a capital letter and went from there. I expected I knew what would follow, I trusted the meaning of punctuation. More loud than quiet, I pressed my meaning into these discrete units and laid them in thin, even lines. Handwriting that tilted was(more) replaced by careful block letters in an effort to be understood uniformly, and then I learned to type and was relieved of the burden of my slow hand and my emotional slant. The text you see conforms with my desire to be upright.
Downstairs I have a drawer full of nibs, and it has been a long time since I practiced copperplate. Two bottles of ink are dry, containing flakes of pigment and a few drops of deep hued sludge. The rose-perfumed ink still works: I practice on the back of my daughter's homework, writing all of our names again and again until I see a grace return to my hand. In this script, it is impossible to write any name without seeming to love it very much. My script is tight and narrow, and I try to keep my loops weighted and tendriled by turns.
I begin an email with a capital D (for Dear), and it has no flourish. I consider giving people pet names, but I often resort to calling the beloved You. I am familiar with the form of a letter, but I get tired of the cascading straight lines, the striving toward conclusion. I want to lift the end back toward the top, hoping not to create a circle, but to reveal what might be contained in the space between, a skirt inching up, ankle, knee, thigh.
I say these things in different ways, but neither screen nor page can contain a capital letter big enough. (less)
Edmonton's Galaxy Land amusement park, an hour away from our home. I was young enough that I don't remember how young I was.
We climbed into a roller coaster: I was in a car with you, my brother and sister in one behind us. I don't remember wher(more)e mom was.
There were these thick, green poured concrete pillars. We looped around them, coming close enough, I thought, that we might somehow hit one and be decapitated. I could hear you three screaming in excitement as I bawled.
The little red chain came to a stop, and you looked at me, with a huge smile on your face, your eyes twinkling with joy at having taken me on my first roller coaster ride. Your face blanched, your smile disappeared as you instinctively put your arm around me.
You carried me around for some time, my tears drying as I ate a freshly glazed donut.(less)