Why Should I love this typewriter? Because it’s mysterious. Because I know it well. Because it was just randomly sitting in a corner in the Palacio de la Artesania in Havana, Cuba. Upon seeing it, my mind immediately jumped to Hemingway, but this wasn’t a Hemingway tour. We were here for rum and cigars. And besides, Hemingway’s typewriter must have been at his old house, Finca Vigía. It didn’t matter. I don’t even know what his typewriter looked like.
It didn’t matter because just seeing the old typewriter conjured up images of Hemingway. A drink in one hand and a cigar in another. But this typewriter also conjured up another image for me. Me, as a child. I used to own a similar typewriter. It was given as a gift to me by a friend of my parents. He worked in a paper shop and would ensure that we were kept in plenty of “reject” or over-run paper. Then one day, he surprised me with a typewriter similar to this and a little metal typing table. I think they upgraded their office and he grabbed this before it went into the garbage.
I loved those old round keys, even if I had to press each one down really hard. My fingers were black from putting the cloth ink ribbon into place. And from having to pry out a key that would get stuck. Sadly, it was usually the letter e.
What do you see when you see this dusty, old typewriter?