12/31/2016
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Posted by Secoura on: 02:03 AM, 01/28/17
Why do I feel compelled to write this down? A handful of people may read it and none of them are going to care. Hey, the great pity party of 2016 continues! Everyone grab a drink and join me for the grand finale.

I was on my way to the liquor store to stock up (because what is an end of the year pity party without a shitload of alcohol in which to literally and figuratively drown your sorrows?) when I saw a handmade sign for an estate sale. At first I thought it was an old sign because who would have a sale on New Year’s Eve? At the bottom it read “11AM-4PM 12/31/16” so it definitely wasn’t an old sign. I used to love going to garage sales and estate sales so I decided to stop and see what they had. It’s not as thought the liquor store was going to be closing soon as it was only one o’clock.

I followed the signs to a house on an old street that looked as though it hadn’t been maintained in decades. Unfortunately that’s how most of the streets look around here but this one still had open ditches because the county never bothered putting in sidewalks. Not that it’s important to what happened but I just felt like throwing it in there.

The house was straight out of the 1950’s and the woman having the sale had opened up the entire house. She literally just put a price tag on everything in the house exactly where it was. I’m still not sure if it was the height of laziness or utter brilliance. Surprisingly, or maybe not given it was New Year’s Eve, there was no one else there and it didn’t look as though anything had been purchased. Before I could put voice to my thoughts the woman came over and said “You’re the only person to stop.”

I replied that people were too busy getting ready for New Year’s Eve but she shook her head and told me to take my time and that anything not permanently attached to the house was for sale. There was a lot of stuff in this house and I felt a bit like a voyeur going through the personal effects of someone I didn’t know. The items in the house all had a story of their own to tell and I fell into a habit that I hadn’t indulged in for a long time – I began writing a story in my head about the former occupant of the home.

The living room spoke of a woman with a large family. The table was large enough to seat eight and the hutch behind it held dinnerware to serve twice as many (yes, I looked inside). The kitchen had a stove that had to be from the 1960’s at the latest. Everything in the house seemed to be at least 50 years old yet in excellent condition as though just installed a year or two prior. Off of the kitchen was a large porch enclosed in glass to make a greenhouse. There were dozens of pots with all types of plants growing in them. I thought about how much I would love to have lived in this house. It was like a picture from a catalog. It was perfect, and life here had to have been just as perfect. My house was not perfect. My house was a filthy mess with dirty dishes and a broken kitchen window held together with duct tape. I thought that my life was a filthy mess as well but duct tape couldn’t fix any of my problems. It was New Year’s Eve and I’d been on my way to a liquor store so I could get drunk alone because I had pushed away every person who might have become a friend.

Then, in the midst of my depressing thoughts I saw it – an old typewriter. I mean old, like really really old. It wasn’t even electric. It was a Royal KMG manual typewriter. I was instantly in love with it. The woman having the sale came back and must have seen the love in my eyes because she said I could have it for $10. It had to be worth so much more than that but she said that she wanted it gone. I gave her the $10, got the typewriter inside the case that was beneath the desk it sat on, and headed back to my car. I was thrilled with my new purchase but wondered why she was willing to sell it so cheap just to be rid of it. Liquor forgotten, I hurried home to set it up and see if it worked.

I made short work of moving the crap off my dining room table and onto the floor so I could set this beauty up. I fed a sheet of paper into it, pressed a few keys and was delighted that not only did it work but the ribbon wasn’t dried out. It had the dual black and red ribbon and while I couldn’t tell what might have been typed using the black ribbon, the keys had left an impression on the red ribbon.  I’d seen an episode of NCIS where someone got a hold of a character’s typewriter ribbons and was able to tell what the story was before it was even sent to the editor. It seemed like as good a way as any to pass the time and the thought of what stories this old typewriter had been used to tell was too great a temptation. What letters had been written out? What manuscripts created with its keys?

Carefully I started to unwind the spools, getting ink all over my fingers in the process. I didn’t care. I felt somehow dirty, looking at the words that someone probably meant to remain private, but I had to know. Curiosity drove me and so I used pen and paper to write down each letter as I went through the red ribbon.

JELLAV7339OTENOEMOSDNESESAELP,RETTELSIHTSDNIFENOYNAFI.LLEHS'TI.LLATATCEFREPT'NSITI.T'NSITITUBTCEFREPOSSKOOLLLATI.EMITNITNEMOMREHTONANISTSIXEESUOHEHTFOEDISNIEHTEBYAMRONOISNEMIDREHTONANIM'IEKILS'TI.EMOHSIENOONEKILTCAYEHTSWODNIWEHTNODNUOPDNAMAERCSINEHWTUBEDISTUOELPOEPRAEHI.NEPOT'NOWROODEHT.KROWT'NODSENILENOHPEHT.DEPPARTEMSPEEK--EHSAYLETINIFEDSITIDNA--EHS.OGEMTELT'NOWESUOHSIHT.LLEHGNIVILAEMOCEBSAHEFIL

That’s all that was on it. I’m not sure what I was expecting to find. A typewriter ribbon would be just random gibberish letters, right? So now it’s almost midnight and this is how I’ve wasted my evening. At least the liquor store is still open so I’m going to head there and grab a bottle of something to end this year right. Tomorrow maybe I’ll see if I can find out who lived at that house and what happened to her. I can’t remember the address but it was Vallejo Street.


« Last Edit: 06:34 PM, 01/29/17 by Secoura »



Posted by CandleClock on: 03:26 AM, 01/29/17
I liked it. My favorite color, my favorite size.

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