With Apologies to My Typewriter

We’re off to a rocky start.

I’m writing right now, but not on you. You’re sitting quietly underneath my bed. Your case is gathering dust and beating off bugs. We haven’t rendezvoused in months — and even then, it was only a quickie. I tickled your keys for a passing moment and succeeded only in producing a brief note. You have not been rewarded with the hours of attention I promised you when you came into my life seven months ago.

Before we met, you were that to which I aspired. You were the ideal. Every secondhand store I entered I sought others like you. I pressed their keys and relished the feeling as they sprung eagerly back to my fingers. I wallowed in the antiquity and the aura of your kin.

When you arrived, you were the day’s penultimate prize — the crown jewel. I showed you off to my family. We took turns examining you, praising you. I studied your intricacies and your quirks. I discovered the stiffness of your W, the ease of your Y. I ordered you new ribbons, sure I would burn through your first and unwilling to let you go wanting. I readied myself for a long-term commitment to you; a partnership in which I would give you my everything and I knew you would do the same.

I was prepared to deal with the stigma you carried, but I didn’t resent you for it. I knew what people would say:

“He’s trying too hard.” “He’s a hipster.” “He’s not a real writer.”

These words didn’t bother me, so long as I had you.

Our honeymoon was short but sweet. Together, we created letters, notes, short stories (and the beginnings to longer ones). We shared our love with others and didn’t care if it annoyed them. We were strong and blind to anything outside our bubble. I made promises, but even then I feared that they were promises I couldn’t keep.

Time passed, and we began to grow apart. Life had to take priority over our relationship. I moved, and you were transferred to a new position that felt temporary from the start. You were near me but far enough away that we didn’t get the time together we needed or deserved. I was unworthy of your unwavering patience, but I took advantage of it nonetheless.

And still you sit down there, beneath the bed, silent and uncomplaining. Sadly, it is only because today we celebrate the first patent of your original ancestor that my mind returned to thoughts of you. You come from a long, storied lineage of proud typewriters. It is from your family great scripts, novels and screenplays have flowed. Though the younger members of my generation are beginning to forget you, you are still celebrated and remembered by millions more. But you deserve more than a day. Much more.

Today I write to tell you that soon my neglect will come to an end. We’re moving to another new place, you and me. We’ll be joined by others — a girl and a cat — but we’ll have our alone time again. We’ll have a room in which you’ll be the centerpiece. You will sit atop a table, no longer restricted to the dank darkness where you now reside. In this room, we are sure to spend hours upon hours together, rediscovering that joy that came during our first meeting.

Or, at least, I’ll look at you every day.

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