When I was a young lad, knee high to a grass hopper and no taller. When ever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said the same thing.
With the deepest confidence, and complete seriousness only possessed by the very young and those who don’t know better I always proudly said “I’m going to be a writer…”
And I meant it, I was always scribbling away in exercise books covered in my still spidery hand-writing with blobs of thick blue ink.
I always had this juvenile fantasy of being a great writer living in a garret overlooking the streets of paris, with hot and cold damp running down the walls.
In my mind I only needed a roof over my head, a dictionary and my prize possession a typewriter, that was it.
Looking back the amount of nagging, hints and childish tantrums I had to have to get my parents to buy me that typewriter, I’m ashamed.
But for me that was the ultimate birthday gift, all my friends were into action man and thunder-cats and I spent my time carrying this little portable typewriter around. I can’t imagine what I looked liked. (Actually I can I just try not to)
I remember everything about it from the cream plastic case, to the keys that stuck when I got carried away even the smell.
A mix of machine oil and ink that used to float up in to the air every time I lifted the lid.
And the feeling of the keys under your fingers, the pressure you had to put on each key just to get that little piece of metal to strike the page with a delicious thwack, leaving its inky mark.
Or the ting of the bell when I reached the end of the line and had to push it back to the beginning of a new line.
That typewriter was my life, I went through reams and reams of paper. filled with complete garbage, though at the time I thought it was literary gold.
Now it may just be wishful memories as I lie in a sun lounger writing this on a blackberry.
Even though in my life I’ve used all kinds of electric typewriters, word processors and computers I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed the physical process of writing so much as I did with that little typewriter, it really did alter my life but more of that next time…
Love & light