From my vantage point atop a wooden storage cabinet in a room dimly lit by a single bulb protruding from a rotating ceiling fan, I can see a man typing.
The device on which he’s busily pounding out words lacks both parts and paper, and it seems slim and small to me.
I suppose what I am witnessing is the result of the passage of time.
I imagine the small writing machine on the man’s desk descended from me.
You see, I am a typewriter.
I resided in another place for many years — I think a piece of paper inside bore the words “Antique Shop.”
One day a woman entered the shop. She saw me quickly, but spent hours rummaging through other merchandise before she finally decided to pick me up.
The lady walked to the cash register only after she stopped at several more displays on the way. She made her purchase, which included me, and walked out.
For the first time in what was probably years, the heat of the sun bounced off of me, and my keys glistened in the light.
The woman brought me to a house and sat me atop this cabinet, where I have watched the man type on the device on his desk.
He hardly pays me any mind. He’s too busy typing and staring at two displays, a small one attached to his typing device where the paper should be and another larger one — as if one weren’t enough.
Tonight, however, the man glanced in my direction. Soon he returned to his typing, and I doubt he had even a thought about the path from me to the device by which he now writes.
He probably hasn’t the slightest clue about the literature which made its way from the minds of writers before him through the mechanisms of typewriters like me before it was given to the masses.
Kerouac’s On the Road. Plath’s The Bell Jar.
A man named Hemingway used an Underwood model, which is the name I also happen to bear.
I have gathered the man I see typing from high atop this cabinet calls himself a journalist.
Sometimes I wonder if the machine on which he types produces anything comparable to the quality of the great journalists of the past, who met their deadlines with the assistance of typewriters.
It remains doubtful, as I have yet to see any evidence of his words emerge from the machine.
I’m sure some of them, however, did type their stories in rooms by the light of a single bulb.
Maybe there is hope for him yet.