Saturday, October 2, 2010

Her Name Was Olivetti Nostalgia

Last night I dreamt I was riding shotgun in a pale white station wagon with wood paneling. I was wearing a white shirt, my hair slicked back, my arm out the window, hand gripping the top of the car door window, like I usually do when I want to feel the breeze up my sleeve. Nestled in my right sleeve is a folded pack of smokes. Wait a minute, I think. I'm not a smoker.

Turning to my right, I see that the car is being driven by my sister, she smokes. She smoked in the dream yet the cigarette never fizzled out. She looks annoyed, turning the wheel this way and that. We're not out for a joyride, not in this black night. The shops and stores and restaurants whip by us in the night. I can't place the town. It could've been any town within the radius of five miles from where I live right now. That's how plain it looked. But when you dream, as dreamers do, everything is blurred.

We pull up to a goodwill shop and I could feel the hairs on my arms prickle with delight. We've finally found it. It's from this exchange that my sister and I share that clues me in that I was the one who suggested we search for this one particular goodwill shop.

I bolt from the door and enter the shop. It seems peculiar to me that a goodwill place would be open this late, but hey, everything seems weird in a dream...cause you don't know you're dreaming yet.

I scan the shelves and racks, desperately looking for something. That's when I see it. It's near an endcap on the fourth shelf, exactly at stomach level. It's black, slick, the keys on it look brand new. It's a small Olivetti typewriter. The figure, who is me, in the dream pets the typewriter, thankful that he's found it after an exhausting search. Meanwhile, what I like to call my dream specter, overlooks how glad my persona looks and recognizes how important this typewriter is to him. But it is puzzling.

It's true that one of my life goals is to write out an entire manuscript on a typewriter, so far I've had a clumsy affair with laptops and desktops. In some ways, I'm still finding my voice. But what if it's the tool that matters the most. What if a typewriter solves all my writing problems, winging it old school, so to speak. The only other time I even touched a typewriter was that bastard thing that my mother kept in the attic which hated my words and I hated it. But that was nowhere near as elegant as this. That one was built of scratched plastic panels and buzzing sounds. This one just had basic alphabet, a couple of punctuation symbols and a ribbon; pure poetry for the eyes.

It was almost haunting how I watched myself look around suspisciously, making sure the coast was clear. I pulled out a roll of white paper from my jean pockets and laid them next to the typewriter on the right side of the shelf. I fed the paper in and began typing. The rhythm began to jump, making my fingers dance across the keys, I was really catching the flow. I didn't even know what I was writing. But, from the traces that I've gathered, I must've typed at least twenty five pages or so.

A clerk appeared to my left, asking if I wish to pay for said item. I nodded, almost embarrassed that she caught me while I was on a roll. I brought it up to the register, wondering what a fine price for this treasure must be. I was guess 200 easy. The cashier startled me by saying it would only cost 59 dollars. I paid the dough, brought the thing up to my chest, hugging it, keeping it as close as a newborn. What happened next, after I walked out of the store and back to the car, I caught a quick flash of me in my apartment, with the typewriter on the coffee table while I was hunched over it on the couch, noisily tapping out with my two fingers what I would hope to be a grand opus.

Then I woke up. Strangely, I had the dream embedded in my mind all morning. I just kept thinking about that typewriter. Curious to find such a typewriter, the first website I came to talked of such a typewriter. Black, small, ribbon, easy to use...and it only cost 59 dollars.

Is this a sign?

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