Bad handwriting has been a source of embarrassment and anxiety in my life. Whenever I write in cursive form, the alphabets resemble ouroboroses in heat. Unglamorously entwined yet madly unhinged. I am saddened by it. Perhaps, as a writer – I feel obliged to be better at this.
I remember the first time when someone had asked me to sign on a piece of paper. I wrote down my initials as precariously as I could. It was as though someone had finger-walked me through it. My signature remained unchanged for about 8 years. Then, I had to come up with a new one at the behest of a lawyer.
As for my handwriting, it remained awful over the decades.
Last year, I decided to test and check if my handwriting still sucked just as much as before. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about for hours. As time went by, I grew more and more impatient. I couldn’t think of anything to communicate.
At some point, I threw caution to the wind and started improvising. I chose poetry because it doesn’t have to make sense anyway. After the first few words, I felt crippled. Also, I feared that I had forgotten how to write the alphabet “B” in running hand. In a matter of minutes, I was surrounded by crumpled pieces of paper.
I just couldn’t write my way out of it. I felt uneasy. It was as though a colony of ants had swarmed underneath my skin. I could feel their antennas tickling against the nerve endings in my cartilages.
Finally, I calmed down. I took deep breaths. And started to pen a silly poem about birds and food fights. By the end of it, I was sure that I wasn’t going to try this out anytime soon. It was too much of an emotional experience for me to handle, without the use of intravenous medication.
But I did learn a valuable lesson about writing and life – in general.
Sometimes, you win. Sometimes, you lose.
Keep calm and pick your battles.