Academic journal article Hecate

Type-Writers

Academic journal article Hecate

Type-Writers

Article excerpt

Type-Writers

   My mother used a mechanical Remington,
   black-keyed and heavy, it came with a
   clip-over metal-grey rounded case. After
   my birth my father used it to type up his
   lectures. I looked at the ribbon--three
   stripes of black, white corrector and red.
   I wanted to type red words. 'Don't touch,' he said.

      'You're good at colours and design
      but that's not good for anything,' my mother said

   In 1987, when typewriters were giving
   in to computers, I still wanted one and
   my mother bought me an electronic Olivetti.
   Chosen for its quietness, it had an 18 letter
   screen and an eight-page memory
   and its Italian advertising flyers had a
   brunette and signature red rose

      'I'll pay for typing lessons but not for an art course
      that will never get you anywhere,' my mother said

   I typed every university assignment ten
   times or more, correcting each out-of-place
   comma and sentence structure. In my
   next-to-final year the letter 'e' stopped
   printing. A clean-cut but lusty English
   boy pulled apart the machine and found a
   small tear in its plastic circuit sheet.
   We drove to get a new part and bring back
   the 'e'. 'Only mothers and children like me,'
   he said and did not ask me to be a road guide
   with my female draw to misdirection

      I wouldn't like anything my mother liked.
      I went out with stoned and half-there boys

   After the 'e' the typewriter lost 'a' and my
   words became syllabic sounds without
   substance. … 
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