abecedarianism as body memory

The other day several of us were remembering high-school typing classes. Sit at old desk. Clang away at old worn manual typewriter. Type lines your teacher tells you will enhance your fingers' sense of the full range of QWERTY. Such as "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party."

I never knew what party this was, but the article "the" made me suspect that it was the G.O.P., a hunch seemingly confirmed by a glance up at my extremely prim typing teacher. Once in a while, in a resistant mood, I would type this: "Now is the time for all good men to come to." "Mr. Filreis," Miss Prim would say, "please complete the assignment." "I didn't have time to finish" was my retort, whereupon I swung my bookbag over my shoulder, and was off, down the hall among the party-minded teenagers who wandered there during class.

To type this entry, which I did with great efficiency as always, I had once again to poke the letters forming that expression of classic American get-alongism. And I could strongly feel the body-memory, an adolescent sensory shadow.