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A Pocket Archive (19)

I've never heard a transformer blow before. It's like listening to a cannon go off.

Growing up in a rural area, hearing gunshots was not uncommon or unnerving, as it was common for neighbors to fire at random coyotes or to target practice in their yards. An explosive bang here, within the city limits of a fairly liberal college town, however, is another story. Half the lights in the building went out, and the rest flickered eratically. I'm grateful I don't have epilepsy.

I've been going back to writing on paper more. I don't know why, but I think Dan was right- things just come out differently that way. I remember him saying that whenever he wrote poetry, he preferred paper and a pen that wrote smoothly and had good ink flow, and he especially liked fountain pens. I made a comment about it to Pastor K. at some point and he agreed, and he said that there's something in us that distrusts digital formats. I agree, but I think there's more to it than that. I don't know that there's any real science to it, but handwritten things have more substance to them. Bits and pieces of someone's soul sneaks in to their personal script, and it's part of why I save every letter and card I get. It's a unique kind of magic that's absent from digital texts.

I find Graphology intriguing, but don't know if I would consider it reliable beyond maybe determining someone's dominant hand or emotional state while writing, but I do wonder if in some ways it reflects personality or mannerisms at all. I don't think it's quite that straightforward, but I do think people's handwriting often 'fits' or reflects something about them somehow.

For example, my anam cara's is elegant, neat, but still informal and comfortable, and she makes beautiful cards. The gypsy's is pleasant to look at, but not fussy or overly loopy. Mine is messy and the font is usually too large for the space, like I'm rushing to get all the words out at once and barely have the room to finish, unless it's something I'm putting more thought into. I also draw dashes through my 7's, a habit I think I picked up from Irina. Dana's, from what I've noticed, is similar, but not so large, as though he's trying to get the most out of his paper. Mom's is neat, perfect cursive with even slants and infrequent but odd mispellings. Toby's is upside-down and backwards, but the language is clear and to the point. Andrew's is neat, clearly articulated, and small enough to be economical without being hard to read. It always has even spacing and almost feels militaristic, as the lines are perfectly straight and his letters tend to have more angles and hard edges than curves. Erin's is similar, but has more soft edges. Z.'s is neat, to the point, and always in distinct blue ink, sharply contrasting his brother's. Dad's is legible cursive, and somewhat squashed looking, but he rarely writes more than a few words. His 2's are loopy on the bottom, like mine.

It's also odd and a little sad watching how, like many things that come with aging, a person's handwriting is cyclical in a way. As I read my grandparents' Christmas cards, I can tell their hands are starting to shake more and they're getting older. The way that the individual characters are starting to look slightly mishapen and disproportionate almost reminds me of when I was first learning to write. It's hard to think they probably won't be around too much longer, but then again, half the family is known for surprising longevity.

Sitting here in the candle-lit dark and thinking about writing, I can't help but feel strangely giddy, which is undoubtedly enhanced by the distinct itching of new ink on my dominant arm. A new constellation peeks cheerfully through the protective plastic and I have to fight the urge to tear it off so I can stare at it without the cloudy fluid building up underneath. It's adorable and I spent an hour trying to get a cute selfie with it before realizing it's impossible without a second pair of hands. I wonder if my lil' gabby girl will try grabbing these too.


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