The typewriter…


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.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “The typewriter…

  1. lovely. simply lovely the way you narrated that.
    And yes, typewriters have a sort of magic in it.
    I still remember the days at work with typewriters … it was just before the time of computers… gosh that makes me ancient.
    anyways, the sound of the key going down and making contact with the paper to produce a beautiful letter one by one is really like melody.

  2. Nice story, Kuya John. I may never lay my fingers on a typewriter these days, but your story makes me wanna try one. Just for curiosity’s sake :)

  3. I think this has to be my favorite posts from your blog as of the moment. We are of the same age when I owned a typewriter. The manual machine also left me great stories that I will never forget. For one, my humble parents can’t afford to purchase a desktop computer back then. I settled with my old typewriter. Despite having classmates who are blessed with a helpful and more reliable desktop computer, my typewriter taught me to become more hardworking and contented of my own blessings.

    PS I feel that you will make it as a great short story or novel writer. I hope you pursue your dreams as a writer too.

  4. So quickly do I forget what miraculous devices those old typewriters were, they didden’t even need
    to be pluged in. Now I always assume that no device will work with out electricity. My grandmother had one in her family for twenty years before donateing it to a local museum – children are mesmerized by the thin metal arms raceing across the paper, powered by nothing but fingertips. This is possably the greatest thing that has ever come out of wordpress, I was so relieved to find that the typewriter had been sucessfully restored – I thought this story was about loss but it turned out to be about survival. I live on the gulf coast of North America, so this also makes for a great storm survival story as well – you can reach a lot of people with this. You are not just writer, you
    are an exceptional author. :0

    • Hi rastelly,thanks for sharing personal story of yours about your typewriter.perhaps now,people often forget its once glorious value since computer took its place but it is still wonderful to hear old stuff..just like the importance of typewriter..=)

  5. what a reunion! you must have loved it very much!

  6. ang galing! reunited and it feels so good.. ehehehehe great story!

  7. Nice story. What if…….that typewriter was really yours? What would you do to claim it back? Sound like a good plot to the next stage of this story. :)

  8. Wow, Bro, that is one amazing story. It’s like watching a movie where after so many years, destiny brought two objects together. This time it’s you and your typewriter. I felt your pain when your father handed the typewriter to be sold. I felt how it broke your heart but somehow you fought silently and followed your dream to write and born was this blog and the wonderful , gifted man behind it. Never let go of your dreams. As the song goes, “Dont’ stop believeing!”

    • I think this is the only thing that I have ,Bro.This talent or I don’t know if should really call it a talent. hehehe..I shouldn’t let go of it I know.I will not stop believing..thanks bro.

  9. Enjoyed this post. What a poignant story. I like that it has a happy ending, and that the typewriter still lives!
     
    Not just the typewriter, but the stories it facilitates. They have a whole new lease on life, too. Thank you for the share, John!

  10. Rhence

    I’m blown away with this post. Good to know that you still managed to have found your typewriter after years passed. Feels like reunited. And oh, I really liked how you narrate the story. Lovely. I’m reading back your posts and this one is my favorite so far. :)

  11. This is one thing I really hated the most back in college. I didn’t like the course I pursued and the idea of tpying for obvious reasons. Until, I had to undergo an important exam (Civil Service Stenographer’s Exam) and that made all the difference. My view about typewriters was changed BIG TIME.

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