Dead Letters

writer(1)

Saw this while walking the dog a few hours ago.

The Smith-Corona had been buried in a leaf pile for days, begging "Shoot me before I'm gone."

It's too late.

Fallen leaves, dead letters.

Long gone.

Why does this old typewriter call to me?

I had a big rumbling Royal in college that made the whole door that I'd converted into a desk vibrate when I fired it up and produced some tortured term paper in the wee hours.

Years later I had a sleek Safari model -- light and small, a manual perfect for carrying on a plane to some small, sweaty destabilized country. J. Peterman should have sold that baby. It took some commitment to make the keys work, and you didn't just start typing away. You had to do some thinking first, plan what you were going to say, beginning, middle and end, as you threaded a thin piece of erasable bond into its roller. I don't remember ever using it on assignment, however. I was just a local cops reporter for a paper that never sent anyone anywhere.

Its time, too, has come and gone.

Continue Reading