typewriters bring out the stream-of-consciousness in me

(I typed the following entry out on my Olivetti some time last year. I found it while cleaning my office this week. I like banging around on my typewriter because I feel free to just type whatever comes to mind; something I don’t do as easily when I’m sitting at my computer, creating a word document. I think it’s because I know there isn’t much I can do with a typed out piece of paper (except store it or throw it away), so I may as well do whatever crosses my mind. And I certainly don’t worry about grammatical correctness.)

A bit of an epiphany. The sun confirmed it. With my arm dangling out the window, I noticed I felt fine. I felt good. I felt like I usually feel. How I felt before I started feeling nuts. Everything felt possible again. To borrow a cliche: I felt like I had entered a new phase of my life. It’s as if the panic and anxiety were portals to get to this next step. My dad’s death; my grandma’s death; the tears that I shed over loss—loss of love, work, self, time. I feel it’s behind me again. Not in the sense that I want to forget, but in the sense that life is made of stages and I’ve entered another. The panic/anxiety was cathartic. It’s like I had fallen off my bike and had to be given training wheels for a while, and now I’m back to riding on my own.

I’m trying to wrap my head around it still to crack open and spill out my guts. My lucky bamboo died some time ago. And what I’d really like is a wood floor to call my own. To tap my nails against and to freeze my feet against. If I had wood floors I promise to take better care of the furniture. To clean off the animal hair and to set up straight and not slouch. And when I was a kid, grandma would take us to work with her at the hotel—the Holiday Inn. She bartended and we would get to swim in the pool. One of the employee perks. I’d pretend to be a mermaid and would hold my heels together and stretch my toes opposite one another and hold my breath as long as possible and be graceful and gliding and beautiful in my brown chubbiness. And at this pool I lost the butterfly ring my dad gave me and even then I lamented it so much, knowing it was special and I shouldn’t have lost it. I think it was turquoise and I was sad, but I loved the bartender named Scott and had a great big crush on him. Years later, grandma told me that Scott was gay, or maybe she just thought he was. I don’t know if she knew for sure. But as a kid, I crushed on him, and how he served me my Coke—with kindness. And today my great aunt is in the nursing home. For this I feel bad bad bad and wish there was something I could do. The family dissipated with the deaths of dad and grandma and I barely keep in touch with them now. Not because I don’t want to but because that’s what distance and time do, even when you have the best of intentions. And so my aunt is in the home and I hope she’s not lonely and I hope she knows I think of her often. We grow up, we grow up. I grow up and learn it’s all temporary. It’s almost like a dream. He was here yesterday, and now it’s only in my memory and imagination. It’s over, but the picture is on my wall, and there’s a spider living behind one of the frames. Really.


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