Oct 27, 2022

Barbara, a client of my mother’s, was leaving her position as secretary of the Art Department at Tiburon College and put in a good word for me when I applied for the job. I’d been living hand-to-mouth on minimum wage—doing everything from wok demonstrations (slinging fried rice) at Handyman and Sears to housekeeping gigs that involved chores like washing windows in the rain—so I had every digit crossed on the way to my interview. When I took the typing test, however, my hands shook so badly I couldn’t even keep them on the right row of keys. After the timer went off, I saw I’d invented a new alphabet with a large smattering of numerals, more impenetrable even than Russian. I collapsed on the lawn in front of the administration building and cried. But a week later I found out that Cameron had hired me anyway. “Actually, there isn’t all that much typing to do,” he told me later in person with an airy wave of his clawed hand.