Typewriting

by Adam Finley

Real writers use typewriters. They sit in dim rooms smashing the keys down one at a time, not with the steady flow a computer keyboard allows, but with a passionate, rhythmic thrust, those thin metal arms flipping up like hammers striking piano wires. Mistakes are crudely marked out with Xs. No words are backspaced into oblivion. The typewriter likes it raw.

Typewriters should be hosed off after each use, dumped on a curb and sprayed with a garden hose. Real writers use a wet typewriter, the ribbon lifting onto the moist paper, the alphabet now a series of indecipherable smudges. His fingers become wedged inside the mechanism. True feelings. Raw emotion. Damp Royal Typewriter.

A real writer attacks his typewriter with incorrigible abandon. He screams as he writes: a long, unholy wail. He must tell the story. He must manifest what is inside. He does not sit as he types. He stands on the chair, bracing himself against the wall with one foot, placing one hand on top of the typewriter, pounding each key with one finger, growling and hissing.

He collapses, but soon he is on his feet again, pinning the typewriter against the wall, propping it up with his shoulder, fumbling inside a drawer for a hammer and nails. He finds both, and nails the typewriter to the wall. He jabs at the keys, ignoring the grinding screech of nails separating from wood. Again, he holds the typewriter secure with his shoulder, typing incessantly despite the nail head rubbing against his hand, working its way into his palm. Writing is a physical act. It is an act of creation.

The typewriter tears from the wall, bringing a starburst pattern of drywall with it. The corner smashes on his left foot, severing blood vessels and cracking bone. He shifts weight to his other foot, leans against the wall, and lowers himself to the floor, his hands trembling, his eyes arid in defiance. As his fingers saunter from one key to the next, the final words creep across the page:

But so far churchcamp has been alot of fun. I’m glad you and dad made me come. I’ll see you next weekend, ok! PS-jumped off the hi-dive!!! Tell Kyle not to touch my BIONICLE til the glue drys.
 
He rips the paper out, but it tears in half. He needs a doctor. He needs a stamp. One of those limited edition Dr. Seuss ones.

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