Some people lose their way; I lose the signs. I whoosh past them – mileage, milestones, and warnings about speed breakers, left turn, right turn, straight arrows, twisted, curved. I lose signs.
The other day, I lost something close to signs but much more important: my signature. How can one lose one’s signature? I forgot it. I was waiting at the teller’s at the bank (the ATM machine was not working) and she asked me to re-sign at the back and then returned it. “Is this yours”?
“It does not match. Sign again.”
I did, I slanted it a bit more, I turned a little…she called her senior. I look the decent sort, so they sent me to the guy at the computer who found my account number and my signature. It was nothing like the one I had imprinted on the cheque. It was neat, a bit too neat. This was a 20-year-old signature. Even with all the slanting I could get nowhere near it.
I scrawl more openly now, I take up more space. The only thing that remains pretty much the same is the first initial, like the first rush of blood.
It was nearing closing time and I needed the cash as I had to run some errands where a credit card would not do. Someone asked, “Do you have any identification?”
How does one identify oneself? A name, an address, a familial tie? Are any of these adequate? Isn’t a signature a personal statement of who we are?
I rummaged in my bag. My passport was there. Why was it with me that day? I don’t know. The gentleman looked happy. The signature did not match, but it had my details. He took a copy and I got the money.
I later filled up a form changing my signature, at least for the bank. The other day I had to sign a cheque and forgot the new signature. Completely blanked out. This was weird. I tried to locate the note pad where I was trying out some slashes. It took me two days to locate it, two sheets of paper with at least a dozen signatures. There was one that stood apart. This must be it. I forged my own signature and still do not know what my signed identity currently is.