We had a typewriter in the basement. It had its own suitcase. It was heavy and I always jammed up the keys. It was worth jamming them in order to pick through and un-jam them.
Everything I ever typed had the holes on the wrong side, and the top margin at the bottom. I seemed to like custom paper sizes, trimming the paper…just ‘cuz.
It made a noise. Not a thwack not a thump but a combination of the two. Then the letter appeared. It didn’t have the fancy corrective paper, I just re-typed the letter over and over and over again until the mistake (and its replacement) were a smudgy hole.
I wrote stories about currency, The Misadventures of Big Bully Dollar. I wrote about my pet Pegasus and the airplane I intended to build. I wrote about my friend Chris(topher) but abbreviated his name to “Christ”. Christ and I went on a lot of adventures; my teachers must’ve thought my parents were evangelicals.
On the Scriptnotes podcast, John August uses the phrase “something that exists in the world” to mark the definitive transition from idea or intention to physical presence.
A typewritten page, however wrinkled, however corrected is something that exists in this world. I have them.
Is a .pdf something that exists?
I don’t have a typewriter anymore. What will my daughters look back on? Their first e-book?