My laptop sits tentatively next to an old typewriter that has been lent to me by a journalist who used to globe-trot clad with this mass of metal that, at the time, was the technology of the day.
I imagine that the laptop and the typewriter are cats sitting on my desk. The typewriter is an old rescue cat, being introduced into the family home for the first time. Twitchy beside her and inquisitive the kitten (laptop) is somewhat put out, jealous by the worldly wiseness of the gnarled appearance of the imposter. The typewriter has an air of indifference and would like to be left to snooze for as long as possible, unless milk is being decanted in the kitchen, before I begin to tap and bash on its robust keys once more.
There is something inherently aesthetic and accessible about the typewriter compared to the laptop. I wonder is it just a novelty that alludes to this or is there something other about its presence?
My son Sholto is fascinated by the old girl (typewriter) and so absorbed in concentration when he kneels upon the chair (in order to become level with the keys) that his tongue lolls out and dribbles. He presses but is unable to make a mark on the paper, one must pound it to establish a connection between key, ink ribbon and paper.
As one grows older, I become increasingly aware that one day I shall be the typewriter – and only hope that a few people, family and friends, will find the time to still uncover the charm within me once more. Will they unleash my youthful mind and return me to some function, some purpose or at best some element of joy?
Perhaps I’ll have grandchildren and talk of old ways, and share my old stories and pass old photographs, warn and smooth from the thumbed caresses of my frequent grasping. Trying to catch memories like flighty butterflies in a net who seek the sun in a dark cave.
Although sadness drapes over my body when I think of becoming an old lady, I know it shall be a privilege to walk this world heavy-footed and with wrinkled skin and have time to take stock upon life. Witnessing the cycle of life before me and knowing that I will have been part of the fodder that nourishes the roots of the seedlings I brought forth to this earth via wild orgasms of love and the rupture of birth. I hope that shall be enough to content my being.
I am content today. A lovely man may have awakened some of my contentment, but he’s not responsible for all my fullness of contentment may I add! He is handsome and kind – two of my absolutes on an inky list that I scrawled thoughtfully on paper one Sunday morning. This reckoning took place months ago in my bed, whilst listening to radio 3 with a cup of lapsang tea at my side, all the while adjusting to the singleton, co-parenting script I found myself reciting awkwardly.
Kind and handsome were two of a great many words extracted from my sleepy mind that morning, a process I adopted in order to illustrate what I wanted, hoped for and deserved from a new relationship. The man in question seems to enjoy my company thus far and is reassuringly taking my inevitable life’s ‘impedimenta’ and my being a beloved Mother to darling Sholto all in his buoyant stride.
It is but early days and one can only enjoy ‘it’ for the simplicity of what a connection betwixt two human beings can unearth and perhaps even forge over time, should epoch be granted. I must learn to adhere to the intangible truths of living a human existence and make peace with the insecurity, joys and sorrows that befall one’s path.
And on that note I shall leave you with this:
“After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts,
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn…
With every goodbye you learn”
Veronica Shoffstall Comes The Dawn