I’ve seen it everywhere. How did you know to start a line for me? What are you going to teach me today?”
“Do you mind if I just take this?”
He took my pencil. I just used my middle finger to open it, and I used my thumb to trace a line. We’d do it like that forever more, as long I could do it.
When he had my whole hand all the way in front of me to draw a line, my eyes followed his hand. I was so distracted, I didn’t notice that I’d drawn a line right through his hand. I knew it was my fingers, when he touched the side and it disappeared into his sleeve.
“You’re so dumb. There are no lines you can’t draw! You’re a real dummy!”
I didn’t know he’d come this far, to that point. But he was really not doing this consciously. So I didn’t argue with him, as I was trying to. I just walked away and drew some lines in the sand.
He said, “You’re all right, Mom. I told you I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’m sorry you don’t feel good right now.”
We moved onto another practice, to another beach and another sandbar. It became a regular session.
One day he was sitting beside me, drawing the lines. I took my little plastic pencil, and tried to make some small patterns. I drew shapes, without really knowing what I was doing. When he got a good enough line, he smiled and said, “See? Just draw the letters, and you’ll know what to do with them.”
So I did—pretty soon, but he didn’t stop telling me when to start drawing. I didn’t try drawing with my hand anymore.
I wanted to, but I didn’t think I could keep up with him. That’s how bored I was. But one day, I started drawing again, and then I realized I could, so I kept going. The next day, I told him we were having fun. Then, the next day, he stopped telling me when to start drawing, and I was completely engrossed. He wanted to draw lines, and I wanted to draw more lines.
After many more practice days, I was drawing and holding my breath. This lasted for several months. We’d stay up all night. I started wondering, How long can this
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