The Pain of the Typewritist

For those of you who are avid followers of my life and exploits, you are no doubt aware that some weeks ago I bought a typewriter. And if you’re not, you are now. Only recently have I managed to find time to do use it for any prolonged amount of time. When it arrived on that Wednesday or Thursday, I gave it a little try to make sure all the keys worked and it was functioning as it should. It was, so rest easy there. But time was short that day though so beyond that little test I wasn’t able to work with it beyond writing out cleverly crafted insults about people I know. There is something in writing insults via a typewriter that makes one feel more cultured, the insult more cutting. With a typewriter I felt powerful and witty. Like Truman Capote. But slightly less obnoxious.

Over the next few days I couldn’t use it much either. An odd thing occurred in my life where I actually had to leave the house for most of the day. In fact, I was out so long that by the time I got home it was no longer day at all. I thought for nighttime writing would do me well; the best writers write at night, so I just made up. But when I sat down to type out my upcoming novel, or continue my biography of Hubert J. Watergipridget, or simply write more insults about the shape of Joe’s beard, I found the keys too noisy. The keys were heavy, and the clanging of the mechanism noisier still. I do have thick walls in my house; at least, I never hear sounds from anywhere else even though my hearing is so sensitive that I can hear someone chewing from across the road. But even then, I thought the sound of the link slapping a letter onto the paper enough to break some kind of law. A law about noise most likely. With that in mind, I left it for another day. I then promptly forgot about doing it, instead spending more time trying to unlock the final few achievements on The Witcher 3.

But now, with that achievement unlocked and the Coronavirus quarantine forcing me inside, I have had the time to write. I thought of writing outside. The police drones flying overhead telling me to go back inside put  a stop to that. Back inside, I collected some paper — which I may soon regret if this toilet paper pandemic worsens — and set out on writing something. Something, preferably, about anything other than Joe’s beady eyes. I did my ritual of putting up a picture of George Orwell by my desk, so that if I ever looked away I would be met with his beady Joe-like judgemental eyes. ‘I punched an elephant to death — imagine what I could do to you,’ his eyes seem to say.

While rummaging around the shed, after having avoided the hourly changeover of the drone guard, I found a piece of foam. Why the shed had foam in it I don’t know. But then again it wasn’t my shed. I stood in that shed for another fifteen minutes as the police passed over. A well-timed run got me through a barricade and back inside I was to practise my writing. I wrote for an hour altogether. About what I cannot say. If I tell you, you won’t buy it. Like that copy of my book on Amazon none of you touch. I wrote, I wrote, I wrote some more. And then I stopped to have a bagel filled with some leftover German meatballs. Such is life under this new system.

While eating I began feeling a lot of pain in arm, scaling up all the way to my shoulder. It felt like I had torn a rotator cuff. My fledgling NFL career will never take off now. Typing on that machine, hitting those keys with enough force to get a firm imprint on the paper has really done a number on me. It’s an intense strength-training workout like none I’ve ever endured. What I’m saying is, it was very painful and even now I’m still hurting. In order to type these words I have kept my elbows firmly planted to the edge of the laptop. But writing about how the pain work has given me psychosomatic pain and now my elbow is tingling.  

I think what might have happened, in my clearly well thought out way, is that by adding that foam under it in an attempt to reduce the sound, I’ve stifled the ability of the machine to disperse the energy created from the keys. Instead of going through the body of the machine, down its little legs and into my table, it is being set back up my warm, causing all manner of pain and hell. Or more simple an explanation, it could just be that I’m so woefully out of shape that even the most basic form of exercise as moving my hand in an up-and-down motion is too much of an exertion for me. 

What I will have to do is remove the foam from under it and see if that helps. If the neighbours complain, screw them. They’re old anyway and the media tells me they’e the first to go. The time of the young is now.

Published by Lovatt

I write, when I remember. I paint, when I bother.

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