for the love of typewriters

typewriterThere is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -Ernest Hemingway

I’ve spent a lot of time at a computer.

In fourth grade, my parents had a word processor on which I created pages for each club that I was in. I printed them out and placed them in a folder labeled: “Clubs — All the Best”. Each page listed club rules and the club flag, which I drew. It was important record keeping.

In middle school, after watching Sneakers, I became obsessed with secret codes and tried to create a one-page newsletter littered with coded messages. I did this with my parents’ small Macintosh, a grey-box machine with one slot in front for the floppy disk. The only thing I remember about the newsletter now is that it was laid out well, with a bold title running as a header across the top and two columns.

By high school, I made my first website, typing the HTML into my Geocities page. There was an animated gif of a cat that ran across the top. Intense stuff.

What I haven’t spent much time on, though, is a typewriter. I had a brief relationship with one in 1st grade when my class went to the typing lab once a week. We practiced putting our fingers on the home row and marching across the page: ‘asdf jkl;’; then in varying orders, ‘ajdkaj lajfl;’; and then we ventured onto the OTHER ROWS, ‘akdM’. Perhaps they even had us start typing real words. I thought it would be amazing if I could one day type 20 words a minute.

There’s a romantic quality about typewriters. I want one of my own. I went looking to buy one before getting married because I had this idea that our wedding guests could type out their well wishes on a beautiful, well-built, old Underwood. I found no beautiful antique typewriter that I could afford. People prize these machines, built to last, and that equates to $$$.

Instead, wedding guests were presented with colored markers and a sketch book: 642 Things to Draw.

I still want a typewriter. My birthday is in October, in case you were wondering.

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