Representational Image
Literature & Narrative

The Typist (Short): Gaurav Monga.

The typist: a woman with long unpainted nails, almost masculine, kept hammering on the keys of her typewriter, drafting innumerable pages of sheer garbage. Having no idea what she was writing afforded her a pleasure that was unthinking; meanwhile, an entire urban population was moving about outside; no need to explain what they were doing. We have seen cities before even in their decline.

The typist wore an outfit made of paper, her clothes ending up in the trash day after day. After her working hours, she left the premises of the building when she was greeted by her boyfriend who was also dressed in disposables: a colorful vest made of paper shimmered in the sun.

The typist, a woman whose back if seen naked looks like that of a beautiful man, hands in the day’s type-written sheets of paper to her boss. Before coming to work, she performs her morning errands mechanically, much like how she types. Sometimes when it is not clear to her why she incessantly has to continue hammering away with her long fingers like that, she logically deduces that it is in order to make an uninterrupted noise in the office.

The typist has two parents and a brother, a kind of ideal family, except for the fact that the brother spends most of his hours inert, watching movies, twiddling his thumbs and plucking his pubic hair. He is truly an outsider by virtue of being fat and by cluttering his house with images of deities, family photographs and old antique overly ornate heavy walnut furniture.

In the typist’s carpetless apartment it is clean like polished leather shoe. One finds glistening silverware, a hot red toaster, a sparsely designed blue iron on a new ironing board and a clock with no numbers. In fact, the typist likes to surround herself with machines and is able to mimic the sounds they make using her mouth. The only machine that is lacking in her home is the typewriter, itself.

She gets to typing as soon as she enters the office, and during breaks works on a novel, she is writing about the future. In some instances, she is able to include in her manuscript a page or two of the verbal garbage she produces for her boss.

While sitting in her cabin, the window looks out onto conical projectile machinery being hurled into the sky, mock fighter pilots thinking about their G-force while spending hard earned money working in banks to afford an hour of flying a disarmed fighter jet, cars that look like tanks. The typist begins to think of her boyfriend’s penis mushrooming from nowhere surrounded in foliage, inside his paper underwear. She keeps hammering away until an unexpected visitor arrives, but she greets him mechanically, and by doing so casts a shadow over his uniqueness.

While on her way home, the typist stops at a clothing store, ridden with e-clothes that change patterns on the surface of the same dress; she would like to own one of these dresses, for she loves to look good and loves anything that has to do with electricity and so buys one of them without trying it on. It’s remarkable that she has not graduated to the computer yet and is attached to the image of herself hammering on the keys of an old type writer.

The typist likes to spend many of her useless winter hours at clothing stores and coffee shops. She likes to slip into a newly bought acrylic sweater while sipping on a caffe latte, after which she meets her boy friend wearing clothes from the new Commes des Garcons store in the mall. It is winter, which is why paper clothes are useless now. No matter how much we want, we cannot change the weather.

There are times when the typist often grows sick of typing and considers retiring early, the thought of which keeps her typing for almost the rest of her life. When she grows old, most of the keys of her typewriter have long since fallen off and the ones that haven’t, she removes manually herself. Although she still lives in her carpetless apartment, the red hot toaster has not been replaced; the color of her clothes have faded and the electricity that once flowed through and illuminated her dresses has been extinguished for many years now.

Related posts

The Story of Creation: A Khasi Perspective (Non fiction): Iasaid Khongjee.

SindhuNews Desk

‘Desiring You Always Like A Child’: Five Love Poems by Kabir Deb.

SindhuNews Desk

Read About These Indian Poets Whose Writing Shaped Contemporary Indian Poetry in English.

SindhuNews Desk
COVID-19 update