Typewriters were where I first started writing papers for classes and letters to the boy I adored who ended up going to reform school- leaving me with an angst-ridden love torn heart. Typewriters taught me the value of precision, and thinking before each keystroke. There was only a finite amount of correction tape, and Mom wasn’t going to Hills to go buy some everytime I got ahead of myself and started writing too much. The machine taught me what being a writer sounds like, that clacking is so satisfying unlike the softened push of buttons on this laptop. It’s like slamming a house phone on a receiver in comparison to clicking a cell phone closed in anger. There is no comparison.
The last vestige of my favorite piece of writing machinery is getting phased out. The Caps lock key has been decided by Google to be useless…and kind of like the pinky toe, it’s getting phased out. The Google CR-48 notebook will have a search key instead where my old friend used to sit. Given that Google is taking over the world, soon the rest will fall in line and Caps Lock will be no more.
Full disclosure, I barely use the key either, but it reminds me of a time when writing meant that I had to get down to the end of my sentence, waiting for the carriage to zip back across the page, allowing me to start a new line. Ziiiiiiiiip zing! Ziiiiiiiiiiip zing! It was the sound of success: successfully managing to get some of these errant thoughts floating around to paper.
BYE CAPS LOCK! YOU MIGHT BE FORGOTTEN IN A FEW YEARS, BUT I’LL STILL REMEMBER YOU.
And a song—