how my right hand had become familiar with the journal of Ayn Rand I will never know

I looked over my new chapbook which I put together for friends. New stories that I wrote in Asia. My hand suddenly slapped me and said with a heavy Russian accent: “Stop admiring yourself.”

I said to my hand, “Why are you speaking with an accent?”

It ignored the question and said, “Stop admiring yourself. You are nothing yet. You must make yourself into a writing machine. You must erase everything but that. You feel no desire, no pain, nothing. You must only write.”

It was good advice but I rarely take good advice well. I was angry with my hand so I went behind my house and beat it silly on a concrete wall. I couldn’t type for a week. It wasn’t fair but I beat my other hand too just because they were together. They’ve hardly spoken to me since.

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