Home.

I hadn’t realised until I put my hands on it, that I hadn’t bought a fairly silly item, something you’d hardly use, and if you did it was almost as a joke, a studied idiosyncrasy sitting in the corner of your living room. I hadn’t realised that I hadn’t bought that at all, until I put my hands on it.

My new home.

I’ve bought home.

Every unambiguously happy childhood memory I have involves me sitting at a typewriter. There are photographs of me, one very small finger hooked over the keys, and a furiously studious expression on my face, as I plucked out words, letter by letter on Grandad’s enormous, dark green, ancient machine.

Typing Typing

They are the only photographs of me, as a child, where I don’t look uncomfortable with being photographed, or as if I’ve arranged my face into what I hope it should be doing rather than having it reflect what is happening inside me. The reason I don’t look uncomfortable with being photographed is because I would have had no idea anyone was photographing me. My hypervigilance was switched off. I was BUSY. I was doing the only thing I ever did that wasn’t in the desperate survival-game pursuit of someone’s momentary approval. I was doing something for me. Just for me. I was in my head, not the world. I was home.

But I forgot.

I can’t say what made me think of it, a few days ago. Something did. I bought the typewriter on a whim, almost immediately regretting it – what foolishness! I won’t use it. It will just clutter the place up, gathering dust.

It does not clutter the place up, it is beautiful, ridiculously, captivatingly beautiful. Unknowingly, I had painted the table ready for it. They are precisely the same colours. And I will use it, because the minute I pressed a key – CLAC! – and remembered the pressure and pace of it, I remembered what a typewriter is. A typewriter is not a computer. You can’t multi-task on a typewriter. You can’t alt-tab into Twitter for a second, or have a quick look at your bank account. None of those real-world pieces of fluff get in your eye, when you sit at the keys of a typewriter.

You sit at the controls of a time-and-worlds machine with the same blank page as god had, 8 o’clock, day one. It only does one thing. It takes you to places. It introduces you to people. It is the TARDIS. It is my home.

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About chiller

Rachel Coldbreath spent 20 years working internationally as a technical specialist on large data collections for law firms, before becoming disabled. She blogs on a variety of topics from the news and politics to gardening and how very annoying it is, being disabled. Habits include drilling holes about 1mm away from where they ought to be, and embarking with great enthusiasm on tasks for which she is neither physically nor intellectually equipped.
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3 Responses to Home.

  1. David MV says:

    My mother had the identical HUGE green typewriter. Each letter went CRUNK like it was the word of God landing on the paper.

  2. Lisa says:

    My Nan tried to teach me to type on the immenseness that is the typewriter you are using in those photos. My wee fingers kept disappearing inbetween the keys, which proved quite painful after a while but I never stopped beng fascinated by the thing.
    My BF was getting rid of a typewriter recently, and I nabbed it. It’s a Silver-Reed Silverette II, in bright blue. I haven’t used it, but I am comforted by it being next to my desk.

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