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Old typewriters covered in leaves

As a writer, I’m subject to certain aesthetic ticks. Fortunately, the monocle and sword-cane phase didn’t last past adolescence.

But others remain, such as my allegiance to the brass tacks styling of Portage brand reporter’s notebooks and ink black blazers. Unlike some of my colleagues, however, I don’t fetishize vintage typewriters – a phrase that, I realize upon writing it, has been redundant since at least the ’80s.

That said, I have a knack for acquiring them. Well-meaning souls deliver them to my doorstep like almsgiving. I’ve permitted myself to keep only two – an old Corona, that belonged to a dead friend, and an Italian-made Lettera, the design of which looks like the genetic antecedent to my MacBook Pro. All other typewriters go back to the thrift store orphanage where some shaggy, 20-something might adopt them to pretend he’s writing a novel in the modus operandi of his mid-20th century heroes.

Despite my reticence to take in any more strays, lately I’ve found myself poaching images of typewriters in various stages of duress. Not sure why, other than perhaps its a way to externalize the creeping sense of decrepitude in my own work.

I suppose this is why they invented Pinterest. It’s a kind of specialized, virtual hoarding that provides purging through pixels.


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