the good old machine

I was 50 years old when this fellow
took me out of the common labor
so that I could sit about all day
and all night and
he promised me a sum of money
for life
no matter what happened.
not that the money was that
much but it was

and his encouragement
since I hadn’t had much of that
surely was a hell of a
especially since he was an

he even purchased for me
this large typer which I could
bang away at
a great and powerful
old-fashioned machine.
(also, he sent me little
envelopes full of
stamps, a very kindly
and I sat about in my shorts
drinking scotch and beer and
banging at the machine.

and it was one night
I think about 2:30 a.m. 
and I couldn’t type
so I phoned my

“hey, these keys are sticking!
there’s something wrong with this
fucking machine!”

“look,” he said, “the machine is
all right, what you’ve got to do
is develop a sense of

“the fucking machine is no good!”
I yelled and
hung up.

well, the next day and the next
I found out that he was

the machine worked very well,
it worked so well, in fact, that
the monies he continued to send
became royalties instead of

after 14 years the machine
still worked but
I became precious and
got an electric
which I now use
and which types faster
(if not better)
and the old machine
sits downstairs now
on my wife’s desk
and sometimes I forget about
but there are times
like tonight
when I think of that fighting
mad machine down there.
we got so lucky together, but
what I remember best is that
2:30 a.m. phone call
complaining that
the keys stuck.

that’s not saying much
for my thankfulness.

writers, my friend, can sometimes
only write.

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