You Think You Were God? -The Handwriting

“You can actually read people from their handwriting,” a female voice says, so sudden, which Bayu doesn’t expect as he’s concentrating. Writing.

Bayu tries to locate where exactly the voice comes from. And she’s there, looking down from her oval light-skinned face. Very close standing at his back; he has to make extra efforts just to turn his back.

“Excuse me?”

“You are an emotional type of guy; your lines tell everything. They are ambivalent and vague.” The woman concludes then rushes back to the front of the class the same way she has come.

There are thirteen other more new employees with him at that class. It is the third day of 10-day Induction Program his new company requires for each new employee. The first three of those ten days will be instructed by three psychologists from the most prestigious university of this country. Two of the shrinks are husband and wife and it is the wife who claims to have the ability to know what people are made of by just looking at their handwritings.

“What about me?” grins the new colleague sitting at his left. “And me?” adds the one sitting at the other side. “As a matter of fact, judging from my handwriting, I should be a medical doctor by now,” he tells them, “but destiny took another course.” Silently, three of them laugh.

Our shrink lady writes something on the board. The handwriting reminds Bayu of his primary school teachers. Of his mother. Not because the handwriting is the same as handwriting of primary school teachers’. Or housewife’s likes his mother. It’s the style. Theirs are typical of certain period. Colonial period, those words come to his mind: when every letter in a sentence is not separated but continuously interpolated at the end of each letter. And as such is different from his and his new colleagues. To be fair to the shrink lady and his primary school teachers and his mother, it’s the cursive style that he used for the first time when he knew how to write. Once, when he was in high school, he attempted to retain that style. Because he thought that old style was elegant and consistently neat. But then puberty came, he had a crush on girl for the first time and he knew that ever since his style of writing was no longer the same.

The shrink lady stops writing. She asks the group to write a phrase or motto that each of the new employees find personally inspiring and motivating for life and work. A sentence or two that reinvigorate their soul when the burden of the routines comes befalling them. A mantra, she continues, upon which their successes or failures in life are born.

Bayu writes a single five-word interrogative sentence on his blank paper. It reads: You think you were God?

(Jakarta, February 16, 2009)

Julitra Anaada:

Born and grew up in Talaud Islands, the northernmost, and one of the remotest, parts of Indonesia.

He earns living in Jakarta, the capital.

All posts are his own work, unless stated otherwise. For non-fictional piece, the opinions are strictly personal views.

He can be reached at julitra dot anaada at


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