Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Left Handed Gun

Watch how a left-handed person holds a pen - crooked, tight wristed, cockeyed unnatural.  Now hold a mirror to the right side of that hand, to see the image flipped.  That is how I hold my pen.

Writing, my hand is crooked, laying on the paper dragging over the recently penned words.   My tucked fingers and the underside of my palm smear all the words, and sentences.  Thoughts end up smudges on the page, staining my writing hand.  The beautiful act of writing turned grotesque. 

My penmanship is almost unreadable, even to myself.  The keenest of eyes struggle to decipher.  Unevenly, my scribble drags across the page.  By college, the only way anyone could read my handwriting was by writing in capitals.  Each letter attempts uniformity as if I was filling out a crossword puzzle.  Yet, the end result is still insulting to the senses, mocking the very notion of pen to paper. 

Over thirty years ago I taught myself how to hold a pencil by looking at my left hand.  Once learned, change has been impossible. Teachers made me feel as if my ugly writing was a reflection on my intelligence or physical appearance.  Frustrated over my grades and people remarking how impenetrable my writing was, I tried for years to improve my legibility.

As a child, I was naturally a lefty.  I wrote with my left hand, lead with my left foot, went to throw the ball with my left hand, etc.  However, my first grade teacher, Mrs. Elbertson, a former Catholic nun, believed lefties were evil.  Despite living within fifteen miles of cosmopolitan Philadelphia I was a victim of medieval ignorance and stupidity. 

365 4/17