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I was running a TypeScript linter for work and crying, and J. said, sorry you have to code and process decades of sorrow at the same time, and of course I said that’s why they pay me the big bucks. I could also have said, it’s the unlovely money that gave sorrow the room to stretch out at all. Cry-coding can’t be that uncommon in this demographic of mine.

Afternoon fog on the water, solar-white cotton pile heaped just a bit over the horizon so that when you catch its outline in passing, down streets and between buildings, it feels like you’re tipping outward and the whole city with you. Lifted from the continental plate. Tumbling to cold brine.

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)

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