I remember the first time I drew a face. It looked like this:

a face

I was sitting on the slope of a hill overlooking my house, together with my older cousin. It was a late summer afternoon: still warm, with the grass still golden, but slowly turning red, the air smelling like honey and beeswax. He drew first. I followed.

That's how I draw faces now:

a face

I also remember the first letter I ever wrote! It looked like this:

an r

I drew it on a wooden plank with a flat red carpenter's pencil. The shape of the lead and the texture of the wood made it hard to draw curves. You had to go in straight lines and press just a little bit so the lead didn't sink into the pulp.

I drew it in the room where all of us slept and watched TV. The light was crisp (with the shadows freshly chiseled) and the air smelled of spring and tobacco. My dad wrote first. Then I followed. This is how I write now:

a hi

Hello! says the impostor syndrome (nihilism kicks in): I'm none of the things I wanted to be between then and now. I still draw the same face and I still write the same «ر».

Still, none of the faces I draw look like this:

(Click to continue)