I love typewriters. I guess I should rephrase that, I love the sound a typewriter makes. Just like the familiar (and loved) clicky-clicky noise an old IBM II keyboard makes, which remind me of endless hours spent crowded around a screen playing games, or long nights finishing up papers, the sound of a typewriter takes me to a happy place.
For me, it’s not necessarily a nostalgia thing per se. My parents both worked in factories, not offices, and I don’t have memories of rows of secretaries clicking away at typewriters. I think my love comes from images I have of my favorite writers plugging away on them. The iconic images of Hemingway, Ginsberg, Bradbury….all in front of a typewriter, shaping the world one word at a time. When I was a kid my parents got me a typewriter, and I would spend hours typing up all sorts of things: Plays I would put on with my friends, short stories, fake news reports, you name it. I’d stick a pencil behind my ear, wear my crudely constructed press hat, and I would pretend I was Rosalind Russell from “His Girl Friday”, catching some big scoop, or I’d pretend I was Sam Spade and I had my very own private detective agency. Being an only child without other kids on my street, I was left to my own devices and imagination most of the time. I would transform our basement into whatever my heart desired, and I would spend hours down there, chasing bad guys and solving crimes.
…..and my parents wonder why I’m obsessed with 50’s film noir.
This typewriter is actually my bosses but it resides on my desk at work for the time being. It’s a constant struggle not to take it down and type on it.