Back when I was in college, if you were lucky you had an electric typewriter and a private room. If you were really lucky, now and then, you had someone to screw in that private room. I needed the typewriter.
He had one. Also boyish good looks and a relaxed style. We came together in a sweaty bed one night after a party and woke, hung over, at dawn, to the faint opening music of the traditional Tequila Sunrise party on the main campus lawn. Dawn drinking parties. Only in college; we had to go. We did and let the ever-nearer beat of the party music drown out the nauseating thudding in our heads.
At noon we still lay on the lawn, our bodies linked under the warming sun. I felt we had glimpsed the edge of the universe. In one and the same night we had said to hell with other people’s rules and schedules. From then on we screwed, we drank, we played, we faced or ignored peril at our caprice. For us, the suns and the moons rose and fell with the trivial precision of a juggler’s balls.
We were powerful all right. Apparently powerful enough to stop even nature’s schedule. Five days late. Could be a glitch in the universe. Could be a start; could be an end. Could be both.
Perhaps nature could be deterred, but administrative bureaucracy could not. The term paper deadlines and exam dates were still on the calendar when I sneaked a peek. Eventually, exam week started. I saw little of him while I wrote my term paper and struggled to comprehend both the circuitous road to the French revolution and the unyielding laws of physics.
My term paper finally composed, it was time to ask for the typewriter. After all, he had finished his papers and our eyes had seen the glory together.
No, he said when we talked. No, because people get into trouble when they lend personal items to each other.
Well, I guess that was right. Trouble. The two of us were in trouble all right. Twelve days late and counting. Yet another clock had started. A new kind of thudding in my head.
I told him about that too. He said he didn’t want to share, didn’t have to share, didn’t know how I could be confused.
So, that’s how it works. One second leads to another, one event to the next. Loverless, baby-full. All for the want of a typewriter.
Janet Savage says: “I am an empty-nester, re-starting the writerly life that I missed. I have a wonderful husband and two splendid children and two dogs. Upon discovering that a genre existed that took advantage of my penchant for brevity and power in stories, I felt validated.”