How to draw a straight line
I once thought it a moral defect that I cannot, in public nor in private, draw a straight line. Even in surrogate situations I am unable; for instance, my handwriting slants badly on unruled paper, as if gravitationally perturbed, as if an as-yet-undiscovered planet orbitted just off the page to the bottom and to the right. In my reading of an old zen monk, I came across this explanation: In order to draw a straight line, you must consider all variants of a line, all of the lists and curves and doublesback, and draw exactly none of them. In that way, it is a bit like telling the truth. But I rather like the idea of gravity, and believe a straight line to be like any thought, which is to say impossibly connected to and interrupted by proliferant others (this is surely unoriginal, comparing thoughts to, say, minor planets). I leave the apartment door unlocked to take the trash out, and by the time I return, I put the key in the door, and it turns out that I have not even taken the same set of stairs.
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