Friday, January 4, 2013

Clickety Clack

            “They’re bringing typewriters back.”
            She heard it in the elevator between the 8th and the 16th floors. She bit her lip to keep from laughing out loud, but a soft snort escaped and the young man who spoke—khakis, green cotton sweater with a man riding a horse on the chest, pale goatee, ashy hair that could use a cut, eyebrows that disappeared on his ruddy face, slender, probably biked to work carrying his typewriter on his back.
            She snorted again, softly, inadvertently.
            He raised his non-eyebrows. “You okay?”
            The elevator door opened, the girl in the skinny jeans to whom he had made his ridiculous remark got off. “Lunch?” she said.
            “Lunch,” he said. The elevator closed.
            “You speak in one-syllable sentences and want a typewriter.” She shook her head. “Do you have any idea how . . .”           
            “I love the sound.” He’d interrupted her.
            “The sound?”
            “Clickety clack,” he said. “You know, the sound of something happening.”
            “So you want a manual typewriter?”
            “What’s the difference?”
            26th floor. He got off, ignorant of the difference in sound and function between a manual and electric typewriter, probably unaware of the nearly silent puff of a really good portable typewriter. She remembered her Hermes with affection—a beautiful soft aqua green and such a smooth, light touch—so much better than the awful black Underwoods in typing class. Clang Clang Click Oops.
            The man with the goatee was clearly unaware of oops, had never held a typewriter eraser or used erasable bond or those little strips—what were they called? He’d never yanked a piece of paper from the carriage because of one tiny error that couldn’t be fixed or smoothed over.
            She wished she’d saved that Hermes. She’d give it to him, take his iMac in exchange, that miracle machine that highlighted mistakes, fixed them, made one look smarter than they were, including a certain young man with an equestrian trotting across his green Fridays’ casual sweater. Nostalgia was for the young.

© 2013 Kathleen Coskran

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