Oct 26
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My Grandfather and My Typewriter

The click-clack of the computer eyes soothed my ears as I sipped from the cold can of iced tea next to me. The clickity of hard keys was a sound I was quite accustomed to, but not the ones of a computer. No, I prefered the click click of heavy typewriters, the keys cold against my fingertips. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my old typewriter, an old scratched thing my grandfather had gotten one day at the dump.

Some old lady had handed it to him and told him to get rid of it, told him that it no longer worked, the stupid thing, and that it was a piece of junk but he saw my name stamped onto the keys and couldn’t bring himself to do it. Of course, this was weeks before my mother announced she was pregnant so how could he have even known? When I was born and my mother named me, all he could do was cry. He had known my name before even my mother knew it. She and my father tossed around names like Gracie or Ivy or Abigail. My grandfather always knew was never a Gracie or an Ivy or an Abigail. For my second birthday, he gave me the typewriter.

He brought it all around town before finding a withered old man who could fix the broken typewriter. I learned how to type on that at the same time I was learning how to read and speak. Honestly, that old typewriter was what taught me my first words. My grandfather and the withered old man taught me how to use the typewriter, how to fix it when it was jammed. When my mother died, I typed out letter after letter to send her off with. My grandfather relocated me and my typewriter to his home shortly after, seeing as my father couldn’t take care of me.

There, I learned how to find words hidden inside of empty puddles and poems written in the sky. Many nights, we would sit on the windowsills, our feet dangling out over the world, dreaming of stories and songs and poems written in the stars. Of course all that had to end eventually because everything ends. My grandfather withered away as well until he was simply a hollow husk next to me. There were many days before his death I would sit with him and spin stories out of air, pulling words like dust from the rafters. The day he died, I was sitting in the old barn by his house and he was at the hospital, being forced artificial air. The air stirred and then stilled and my keys were stuck. I couldn’t type anything except iloveyou over and over and over.

    My typewriter sits on the nightstand of my dorm room. It no longer works daily, despite the many people I have gone to see. Of course I’ll always keep it around, running my fingers over the keys with my fingertips, and on the anniversary of my grandfathers death, the stiff keys will click out iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou but never with spaces because the space key doesn't work.
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