Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One Moment: HIEROGLYPHS

So I've been tagged by Elyana (follow her on twitter!!) in this fun writerly-type blogger game! Here's a link to the original post: Read all about the game!

The game is called ONE MOMENT, and everyone who is tagged is asked to find timey-wimey type words or phrases in their manuscripts, pick their favorite instances of such, then post that chunk of literature on their blogs!

I scoured the entirety of my memoir HIEROGLYPHS for a timey-wimey phrase. And I found my favorite instance. Read on:


Tonya was seven when I began kindergarten, and from what she told me, seven was practically old enough to take over the world. She went to school all day whereas I was home in time to catch The Monkeys and eat a bowl of tomato soup before naptime. In my class we practiced dialing our home phone numbers on a giant cardboard rotary phone. Tonya’s class did real school stuff: math and reading and shit. They even had tests that they took with Number Two Pencils!

But it was the fact that Tonya could read and write that made me burn with jealousy. My big sister was now one of the Special People. She had the secret knowledge, the answer to the puzzle. She was in the know. And she never missed an opportunity to brag.

One afternoon I sat down next to Tonya while she did her homework. She pulled out a sheet of notebook paper so I pulled out a sheet of notebook paper. She grabbed a pencil and I grabbed a pencil. Then she began copying the assigned sentences out of her textbook. I watched for a few minutes in silence. I studied the way she gripped the pencil in her fist: she held it firmly enough to control it but also with enough freedom to allow it to skip and dance across the page. A flick of her wrist sent a series of seemingly random dots and dashes spiraling across the lined paper.

It all looked so meaningless but it wasn’t. I knew it wasn’t. More importantly, Tonya knew it wasn’t because she knew what all of it meant. She was creating those hieroglyphs!

Then it hit me: I could cheat! If I could move my hand like Tonya did, I could make hieroglyphs like hers. Then it would all be clear! It’d have to be!

So I held my breath, and I began to write—haltingly at first, but with increasing confidence as my hand made its meandering way across the page. I was doing it!

Then I heard a snicker in my left ear. I turned my head and caught my older sister staring at my paper with a delighted sneer.

That’s not writing!” She crowed. “That’s just scribbles! You think you can write words just by copying me?”

She laughed and laughed. I felt angry tears welling up behind my eyes.

No I didn’t! I just…”

Yes you did!” Tonya laughed some more. “You were trying to be big like me but you’re not big! You’re just a kindergarten baby!"

1 comment:

  1. I love your work and I love THIS.

    Thanks for playing! <3

    ReplyDelete