I Wished That Was Me
Sometimes, the oddest things happen in the neatest way. I rarely think about how I write. It is just what I do.
Lately, I have visited some message boards and realized for the first time that the way I feel about writing is very different from many of the writers out there.
There are many like me, but numerous writers have very different thoughts on the how’s, why’s, approaches to marketing their work, and things of that nature. Very intelligent people, but those things rarely cross my mind. I write because I love words.
I had a situation that required my immediate attention at my local bank. A matter had to be attended to in person. I was required to sign in and wait my turn, and as I did, one elderly gentleman was waiting ahead of me. We waited in the seating area of the lobby together, rarely glancing at each other.
One thing you do not know about me is the following; my pen ship is and always has been horrendous. My teachers in England, well, to say it drove them crazy was an understatement. In the schools I attended, we were taught to write in real ink, via ink jars, loaded fountain ink pens, and in italics… my penmanship is awful. I, however, have always been able to read my own hand, though others never have.
The lady at the bank read the log; her announcement did not surprise me. “I’m sorry,” she said, “It looks as if someone needs some reset…I can’t read the name.” I knew immediately she was referring to me. The gentleman spoke up first. He was an older man, life worn on his face and clothes; he spoke openly and directly to the lady. He said, “I wished that was me!”
The manager looked at him and asked, “do you need to reset your pin?”
“No,” he said. “I just wished that was me. Everyone knows if you have terrible handwriting, you are either famous or rich or both. I just wished that was me; with that writing, you can’t read!”
He looked at me and said, “Well, that must be you.” I smiled and nodded. Assuring him horrible handwriting, regardless of the required thousands of lines I had to write over and over the years, followed me to this day. I also told him I could read it just fine. He said, “It’s proven, you know, people with bad handwriting end are famous or rich or even both!”
I looked at that man who had said that so seriously, believing it, as he repeated it. “I always wanted to be that person,” he said. “The one with the handwriting that was so bad no one could read it.” I realized the gentleman really believed it and wanted to be the man with the horrendous penmanship too.
As I stood up to leave with the lady, he asked me, “May I ask you a question?” I nodded my head. “Of course you may; I will try to answer you if I can,” I replied. “Are you famous or wealthy?” he asked. I smiled at the lovely gentleman and said, “I am neither, but I am working on both… but not just working on it. It’s in my personal big picture plan but not for the reasons you think.”
He smiled at me and said, “What do you do? Do you mind telling me?” And I said what I believe with all of my heart and soul. “I am a writer by heart first, an author second to that.”
The gentleman smiled, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “See, I knew it… you’re going to be famous, and I hope for you, one day rich too. I told you I wished that was me, with the writing she couldn’t read!” And I said, “Well, I don’t know about that, but what I do know more than anything else in this world… is that I just love words!”