The Paradigm of the Typewriter

The typewriter on the shelf was a closeout deal. The office supply store was getting rid of old stock –and this old behemoth, no one wanted. It called out to the middle-aged, women. Choices must be made. An typewriter for 99 dollars and some change, (ink ribbons included) or that brand new laser jet ink package for a whopping 209 dollars –plus tax –something, a working mother and struggling writer, could little afford.

She was reminded where her love of writing began. When she was no more that five years of age, she began writing her stories. Her first written books were about the Valley River people. People that came from all walks of life. One woman that came from Japan and wore beautiful Kimonos, so everyone thought that she was a princess from a far off land. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Then there was a man, that lived in a nursing home because he had Parkinson’s disease. He had a wheelchair that allowed him more mobility because he was unable to walk steadily.

Of course there was the Valley River girl, from a far off land that wrote stories, had big dreams, and loved to illustrate all the books she wrote. That girl was me.

She held on, to all her notebooks and the first play she ever wrote. It was about a girl that would rather write than do her chores. She got mad and left home because she didn’t have enough time (or paper to write.)

She looked back at the old typewriter next to her desk and woke up in her bedroom, knowing that the typewriter that had been a closeout deal at the store was really all a dream.

Next to her desk, sat the typewriter she wrote all her first stories on. This was her Grandmother’s typewriter. The one that inspired, on which she cried over, because a lost dream had been realized each morning she woke up and saw it sitting next to her desk.

All that time she knew who she was. She had always been a writer.

‘Thirty years of age– that’s not a bad place to start,’ she thought.

–And so she promised herself after many failures, this year she would try and would succeed. That dream and her family –the sense of the community that the Valley River people had– was perhaps the only thing that truly mattered to her now, as much as it had when she was a little girl.

The paradigm of the typewriter had finally been realized.

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Perpetual Motion

Cynthia Day had a lot on her mind. Doctors had found a vascular malformation in her brain.

Doctors told her it was nothing to worry about. In the back of her mind she did worry. Her Grandfather had the exact vascular formation in his posterior fossa, and she wondered if this was the cause of his dementia.

She could relate better to her Grandfather than most people. Some days she was so dizzy and confused, she could not drive. Other days, she heard a horrible whooshing noise in her ears. She had migraines that caused visual disturbances. Then often neck pain that made her unable to move her neck, weakness in her arms and legs often followed along with tingling sensations.

Doctors told her it was nothing to worry about, a vestibular disorder. However, in light of the recent circumstances she wasn’t so sure that they gave her the correct diagnosis.

At night it got worse, and she couldn’t sleep. She suffered from insomnia. She wondered if her Grandfathers experiences were somewhat similar.

Her Grandfather was sitting at the edge of the bed, unable to button his shirt. She saw the frustration, and understood what he was going through. It was only last week, that Cynthia was unable to do the same task.

“I’m so sorry you have to see me like this. You shouldn’t have to see me like this, Cynthia.”

“Grandpa, you would be surprised to know, that I know exactly what you feel,” she said as she gave him a hug. “You and me- we are going to get through this together.”

“Don’t you worry about me. You just take care of your family and yourself.”

“There are days I cannot even do that,” Cynthia said.

“You’ll be fine, you always have been,” her Grandfather said, patting her knee.

Cynthia knew that she had to be fine, because there was no other choice.

On the way home Cynthia had to pull over. The world around her looked as if it was in perpetual motion, yet again. She called her husband crying, to come pick her along with their baby.

What the hell is wrong with me? She thought to herself -as she laid her head and hands on the steering wheel-  trying anything, to get the world around her to stop swaying back and forth, like she was on a cruise ship.

A Portrait of Dementia

Cynthia Day held her Grandfather’s hand as he spoke. She knew that he would one day forget her name, or that they even had this conversation.

“I am just going to enjoy this moment as long as I can,” her Grandfather said.

“Me too. Grandpa, I love you.”

“I love you so much too, dear girl. Now you make sure you take good care of your family and that child of yours.”

“I will Grandpa.”

“I’m so glad to be a part of this family,” he said.

Cynthia’s Grandfather was having more bad days, and the few moments of clarity that he had she cherished. The good days would become fewer as his disease advanced. It was something that she and her Grandfather understood.

Cynthia and her family sang one last song together, as she played the guitar. Her Grandfather sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, “along with the family- one of the few songs her Grandfather still remembered. He had a twinkle in his eye, as he watched his Great-Grandson sing along with him. For once everything seemed perfect, as if he was re-living his youth, back in time singing songs with his own children.

That day when Cynthia’s parents took her Grandfather back to the nursing home, he had tears in his eyes. She tried to hold back her tears because she knew she had to be strong for her Grandfather- who at times became scared on the bad days, because he didn’t understand who or where he was.

There would be bad days. But today, was a good day.

So, that day- Cynthia decided to live in the moment, because it was never guaranteed.

Audition

She walked onto the stage, as the casting director called her name. You could see the whole world in her eyes, if only you would look into them for a minute. Her eyes glistened and you could almost see the pain in her eyes, bind  the tears. It was what had brought her to this moment.

Under the stage lights, she stood there silently, staring at the back of the room.

“You may now begin your monologue,” the director said as he took out his pen, clipboard and paper.

She began, “You see…” she started to say as she motioned over to a black box, that was part of a prop “…life is like this box. Whatever you put into this box becomes your life. My life is filled with boxes like this one. Secrets, things that I tried to bury. But I couldn’t bury this one.

My Brother filled his life with more boxes than most and it was just yesterday, I buried him. I don’t want to live my life like that. All the pieces of me buried in a cold dark box, six feet under the ground. So that is why I am here.

I have no monologue, but that of my own. Here I stand in front of you. I refuse to bury my secrets and stand here on this stage, offering all that I have- what is in my heart.” She turned her head, and a single tear ran down her face.

This was the eleventh audition she had attended this week. She was hoping for a break. Anything this week of all weeks. So she decided not to preform a monologue someone else had written, but something of her own. She wanted to share all these things in her heart, however the world was just not ready for Cynthia Day. At least, not yet anyway.

“Next!” The director said.

As she walked off the stage Cynthia whispered, ” You have not seen the last of me yet.”