Weekend Write-Off, Writing

‘To Be’ Does Not Exist

Something was missing. Where was the verb ‘to be’? How are you? What is your name? Maybe it was too complicated for beginners.

They spent the rest of the class pointing at objects around the room and learning what they were called, but this only exacerbated Charlie’s curiosity – what might the noun for ‘being’ be, and did the answer to her missing verb lie there? She wanted to ask the teacher but didn’t have any of the words to form the question. That night she stayed up searching online ASL dictionaries, endless scrolls of GIFs and line-drawn bald men frozen in sign. She looked for the sign for ‘to be’ and found several sites confirming that it did not in fact exist, but no satisfying explanation for its absence.”

True Biz: A Novel by Sara Novic

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