It’s already midnight and I just can’t drown myself to sleep no matter how hard I tried. The humid ambiance is causing me to feel like hell. I jolted out of the bed and grasped for some air outside. The hallway’s atmosphere is filled with silence and stillness except for the clinking sound of a typewriter in the neighborhood which somehow creates a melody in the middle of the night. I trotted the aisle tracing to where the sound came from until at the last block of the apartment there I found a slightly open window in which I gawked and watched an old woman seemingly caressing an age-old and rusty typewriter. That woman was Laura, our new neighbor, a retired Professor and a frustrated writer who possessed a valuable machine, a typewriter which has a physical attributes reminiscent to my vintage typewriter way, way back.
Whenever I gaze at her and on the way she entrusts her fingers on every key of her machine it gives me a magical feeling that transports me back in time.I am 12 again; I could feel how my fantasy is being aroused by the click-clack of my Aunt’s typewriter. As I watch her from a distance, a growing anticipation is killing me. I couldn’t wait on when I’ll be touching it myself and on when I’m going to own it. As a young child growing in our province, I have this vision of being a writer someday. I feel the passion and an innate longing to fulfill it through that old-fashioned typewriter that has been a family heirloom. My great great-grandfather was able to be blessed by this possession through his American friend who was once an employee in our town postal office. At the age of 13 after my Birthday, my Aunt finally handed me my most wanted gift. Enthralled by its captivating beauty, I immediately pressed my fingers into it and started typing many stories about anything I see. I feel like a real writer, then. On the month of November of the same year, a super typhoon hit our province. We were never prepared that neither one of our valuables were packed up for safety. There was a flash flood causing us to run for our lives. It was a traumatic tragedy, leaving our family in total wreckage. We were homeless then, it seems that we’ve lost everything except hope. After the typhoon, we rummaged for some stuff that might still work and it was then that I remember to look for my precious typewriter. I’ve searched for it without ceasing; ransacking the pile of mud, but unfortunately it is nowhere to be found. It may be buried on the mud or it must have been washed ashore. The poignant feeling of losing something you’ve dearly treasured has been taunting my nerves. My parents told me that I should forget about it but I insisted to look for it for my dreams were in it. One fine day, my father brought a sack at home and summoned me. He unveiled the sack showing my old typewriter almost hidden by rust. I gasped in disappointment as if my tears were ready to fall in any minute. “I can still make it work” I insisted. Days and weeks passed and still it was stuck. It wasn’t working anymore. Gone are those days when it can produce a sweet melody just like a piano. Gone are those days of storytelling and so gone are my dreams. The usual vivid days I used to wake up to weren’t the same anymore. It seems something is missing; something innate in me is missing. On a fine afternoon of December, a man who buys and sells antique stuff cared to pass by our house. My father who was so eager approached him; they negotiated until my typewriter was handed to the man. I was standing still, mired in dilemma whether I should make a scene or just let things happen. My face was red and my body was trembling until tears escaped my eyes. My mom in a distance was watching me, feeling as if she has the same agony as mine. I looked at her, breathed and let go.
A soft voice awakened me from reminiscing. Laura was finished typing. She’s calling me as she leaves her desk. She signaled me to come in and I pushed through. As I approached her desk I have sensed a touch of long-lost connection and familiarity towards her typewriter thus I run with it, touch it and feel it. And again, I feel like a real writer.
Laura on the other side, smiled and began to utter…”That was the best gift I received from my husband, a gift that brought my passion back into life. “She pointed at the machine and continued.” He bought it from a junk collector and makes it work for me.”
I was astounded and was taken aback. I was speechless for a moment until I managed to draw a smile. Countless possibilities were playing on my head, but I’m too afraid to blurt it out. I then, left Laura with her typewriter. I might be too selfish to take away her life if I would say that her vintage machine was mine.