The Torrent of Words

The word mistake is not one that appears in the typewriter’s dictionary.

There are only letters and spaces.

A trembling excitement dances across fingertips as they settle over the keys. To make a mistake is to betray the machine. It does not recognize mistakes. The fingers expect to find a backspace key, but there is none. Every smear of ink on the page is permanent.

The excitement turns to trepidation, then fear. Fear of marring the pages with an unworthy word because the capricious mind cannot make itself up, fear of overthinking each letter, each punctuation mark, before pressing a key.

Why am I afraid, when all the power rests with me?

You are afraid of yourself, the typewriter replies.

The apprehensive hands finally settle on the keys. The blank paper is inviting in its innocuousness. Each sonorous keystroke is a staccato of insecurity. After an eternity the line is finally filled and the carriage is pushed back.

A pause.

Go on, the typewriter says.

Suddenly a wave of calm washes over the trembling hands, and the quivering lip stills.

The keystrokes begin, slow and still unsure, but continuous. The clicking becomes a fragment of a melody, growing faster and more decisive after every passing second.

The typewriter inspires a delicate freedom. It does not judge, nor command, but merely serves. To the typewriter every word is the right word. As they spill out like a torrent washing away silt, there are no red lines that underline the mistakes, no markings to indicate the miscommunication between the fingers and the mind.

The typewriter does not recognize mistakes.

The machine whirs and clicks, and a hand reaches out to slide the carriage back. A blank line, ready to be filled. There is comfort in the sound of the keys being pressed – bringing forth a familiar memory of the past we were never a part of.

Thoughts flow, seamless and unbroken, manifesting themselves as lines and curves of black ink, which sear themselves into the hearts that understand them.

The hands lift from the keys, but the machine does not stop. The keys depress of their own accord, whispering, “This story must be finished. Let us write it together.”


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