Paper Trails


One of the most useless ‘skills’ that I had to learn in my life is the ability to write in cursive. In primary school, every child is obliged to copy page upon page of words and letters with a blue-inked fountain pen in order to master this art.

It was a messy exercise for the paper upon which I wrote, my hands which consistently smudged the ink on my page and my face whereupon ink often ended. Yes, I was bad at writing, much worse than average, but my struggles highlight the plight of children all across France.

Luckily, when mistakes were made, we were provided with the remedy to the blots of ink: chemical and magical erasers to cleanse the pages. Their smell legit had the potential to make anyone who sniffed them high, but they suffered the unfortunate problem of removing a thin layer of paper with the ink. If you weren’t careful with how you applied them, you could tear holes within your sheet, leaving behind a trail of blueish debris behind.

The wonder of it all seemed to be the ability to etch things permanently yet still be able to remove them at a later date, albeit with scars, should the content not be pleasing. They offered a delicate do-over, destined to be used once per mistake and should it not be possible, it was not possible and the page was irremediably blotched, you always had the opportunity to tear out the whole page.

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