Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Surprise Gift From Yellow Bone

Yesterday night Yellow Bone called me (to my surprise). Other than a few text messages here and there she and I haven't really spoken since she walked in on me having sex with Caramel. So, I was quite surprise to hear from her.

Yellow Bone: Can I come over?

Me (surprised): Sure.

Thirty-five minutes later Yellow Bone arrived at my door carrying a typewriter. Not just any type of typewriter. She was carrying one of those old school manual typewriters that our grandmothers used back in the day. I'm talking about the type of typewriter that requires you to manually move the platen back to the right once it reaches the left and makes a "ding" noise. It's the type of typewriter that requires you to manually feed it paper by turning the platen knob. It's the type of typewriter that has keys that sometimes stick. It's one of these....

 Yellow Bone: This is for you!

Me (baffled): Um...a typewriter?

Yellow Bone handed me the typewriter, which was heavy as hell! I sat it on the kitchen counter and stared at it for a moment...still a little baffled.

This wasn't the first time I've seen or held a typewriter. My grandmother owned a typewriter, and as a kid I used to play with it. The thought of actually owning an old school typewriter never crossed my mind, though at one point, I was looking for an old school word processor. 

I don't think they make manual typewriters anymore. Brother still makes electronic typewriters, but I can't think of a company that still makes old school manual typewriters. 

Physically, the typewriter Yellow Bone bought me, looks exactly like the one in the picture except it's black. The most striking thing about the typewriter is its condition. The typewriter is flawless. There isn't a scratch in sight. None its keys stick and it operates like new.

Me: Where did you find it?

Yellow Bone: One my co-worker's had a yard sale. It belonged to her mother. 

Me: Why are you giving it to me?

Yellow Bone: Because you should be doing what you love to do: writing. I think part of your unhappiness comes from not being able to make a living doing what you really want to do. I understand. Maybe if you focused more on writing something might happen for you. This old typewriter might do the trick. You can't browse the internet, blogs or check your email on a typewriter.

She is right.

I love being a librarian because I love being around books. However, my first, last and main goal in life is to become a successful writer. I have long said there is nothing standing in the way of my dream except me.

I cannot focus enough to write the novel in my head. I'm easily distracted. It's very hard to focus when you're forever thinking about bills, money, work and other responsibilities. This is why writers frequently seek out grants. Grants help free us from financial obligations, which in turn allows us to write in peace (something every writer needs). Getting a grant is easier said than done...especially if you're black.

After doing some research, I think Yellow Bone might be onto something concerning writers and typewriters....

Apparently writers are finding their way back to typewriters! Maybe it's the sound of the keys and the ding of the platen that's driving folks to typewriters...I don't know. I always found the sound of desktop keyboards comforting (yes, I know that sounds weird).

I was overcome with emotions standing there looking at the typewriter. Sometimes I under estimate Yellow Bone. Sometimes it's the simple things that make me ask, "Why the hell did I give up this woman?"

Me (to Yellow Bone): Thank you so much.

I leaned forward to kiss her on the cheek, but she turned her head to greet me with a full kiss on the lips. We shared a tender moment.

I've made up my mind. I'm going to have my cable and internet turned off. I'm going to put my desktop computer back into its box (I have a laptop too). I'm going to invest in some ribbon (and paper) for my new typewriter, and I'm going to write the novel that's stuck in my head.
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