Through the arbitrariness of technology, in seventh grade, I was assigned to share a desk with Lorrie Brown. Our similarities began and ended with the beginning sound of our last names, BR. She wore downy blue sweaters and a minute silver chain dangling a tiny heart in the furry cleft of her breasts. I wore flaking white Reeboks. I didnt change them. Adam Ant transformed Stacey. She ended the term in leather pants and a Union Jack bandana. How could she have abandoned me when we shared the same consonant cluster?
The alphabet as a technology at once provided order and a sense where none intrinsically existed. Why does cat follow ball follow apple? There is no reason in this. Yet, the alphabet has a capacity to organize and transform our bodies. I may be no more than an animal, but I am an animal devoted to eyeglasses, alphabets, and underpants.
Speaking is an act of transformation because it is only in speech that something acquires a relationship to something else. In a sentence, someone can write, say, Bread hardness into stone. In language, I can occupy the same space as a girl who begins with BR. I followed her in her leather pants down the hallway repeating our connection, br-br-br. She turned to ask me whether I was cold.