At the end of said test I was ushered into a cubicle and presented with the results: a dismal 40 wpm. Then they subtracted the one measly typo, resulting in an even more dismal 39 wpm. Visions of lucrative job offers did not dance in my head.
There, in that cramped, windowless cube, Truman Capote is what came to mind. After he’d read On The Road by Jack Kerouac, Capote, who was a spiteful, bitter, little man, huffed, “That’s not writing — that’s typing.”
Well, I’ll never be accused of that, because I have weak fingers. Weak ankles, too, but that’s another post altogether. My fingers are stiff, troublesome things, refusing to do what I want them to, go where I want them to go. I can’t type, I can’t play the piano, I can’t knit, sew, draw, or use a touchscreen. Shoot, I can’t even hang on to my car keys; I keep dropping them, like bad habits.
Maybe it’s not weakness so much as really bad aim, you know? I rarely hit the key I’m headed for when I try to type like a grown-up. My fingers, instead, lurch around spastically, eventually crash landing on every key except the one I wanted. Sometimes hitting two or three at a time.
And, when the planets are right, my fingers land in configurations that turn out to be computer commands. I’ve done things like turn on the voiceover function — that annoying computer-generated voice that narrates every mouse click and dialogue box and keystroke — without a clue how to turn it off. I’ve also enlarged the screen size by something like two thousand percent — again, with no idea how to undo it.
While that’s irritating, it doesn’t compare to the disaster my fingers would cause in a life threatening situation. They wouldn’t, for example, cling bravely to a helicopter’s landing strut or a balcony railing for dear life. No, not for a second. They’d send me and my car keys plummeting earthward without a second thought. I can’t trust fingers like that, they’ll kill me given the opportunity.
I’ve tried strength training. I’ve tried squeezing stress balls. I’ve tried typing classes. Nothing, no improvement. So what do I do? I keep them at arm’s length and refuse to take my eyes off them.
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