Put me in a stationery store and I’m ecstatic. I finger thick vellum cards and imagine brown ink flowing like caramel toffee; I long to decorate the pages with wandering strokes, fine-tuned flourishes, and well-mannered spacing. My mouth waters at the cursive possibilities.
In elementary school, I adored the perfect blues line dividing my practice sheets as well as the red dashes that bisected the horizontal parameters. Even now, whenever I encounter tracing paper, I conjure up the directional arrows that provided specific instructions for every stroke of my no. 2 sharpened pencil. Mastering that troublesome “q”, savoring the forward flow of “v” and “w”, and feeling just a little naughty whenever I lifted my pen off the page to cross my “t.” Marvelous.
Unfortunately, my penmanship, once so proper and carefully crafted, deteriorated dramatically. One look at my signature and you’d swear that I should be scrawling pharmaceutical prescriptions instead of sex proscriptions. Still I refused to let go of my cursive crush. But then something happened, which brought it all to a crashing halt.
I wrote a sexy note.
I was living with a man and we were in a serious holding pattern. Intimacy and sex were at the bottom of his priority list, and I was getting desperate. It was Florida in the summer so the saran wrap trick (always a favorite with the culinary crowd) was out. I had already paraded around in my FM pumps and my best fishnets and garter belt, but the flag stubbornly remained at half-mast. I was contemplating a pole dance on the curtain rod in the shower, and then dismissed that idea. Although I’m an agile climber, my 5’11” frame didn’t leave much room for splits and scissor kicks.
I had just about called it quits when an unexpected opportunity presented itself. He was traveling to interview for a job, and he asked me to pack his bag. I wrote a sizzling note of licks and strokes and how I would gladly choke upon his return. Slipping it between the creases of his shirts, I was confident that this was a message no proud peacock could ignore.
I saw him off and waited for his call. And waited. When the phone finally rang, it was 2 a.m., and I fumbled for the receiver. “Sweetie,” I said hopefully, “Did you get my note?” Dead silence followed by a terse, “I read it and, quite frankly, I’m shocked.” I was stunned and wondered aloud how this could be. ”But we’ve done that plenty of times.” Sure,” he said, “But never upon my rectum!”
Ah, the slip of a pen turned an "r" and an "n" into an "m." That was the moment when I gave up my cursive career and started packing.