January 19, 2008

Pay to type

The woman I'm at this cafe to meet is certainly popular. As we speak, several people wave, or say hi, or interrupt to say a few words. One slender man in a straggly beard taps her on the shoulder, waits for her to turn around, and wraps his arms around her in an impressive hug. Later, he comes over again and asks if he can sit and listen to our conversation. She says no, we're in a meeting, but he sits down next to us anyway.

She's an attractive woman. Tall and rangy, shoulder-length wavy brown hair, clear frameless glasses, a checked plaid jacket, black sweater, pink striped T, black skirt, orange striped leggings, tall silver boots: and somehow it all fits together. Eclectic is the word, attractive too. He's clearly much younger than her. He's clearly also nursing an enormous crush on her. Looking like a disconsolate puppy, he keeps stealing glances at her.

She pays no attention. I feel slightly sorry for him.


Driving through the southern stretches of Arizona, I notice several vehicles that are used to advertise things. A truck trailer calls attention to "VERMALAND", mentioning vermaland.com which produces very little on my screen. Another calls attention to SAHARA, mentioning sahara1.com. Clearly sahara.com was taken.

And there's a London double-decker bus, wrapped in dull red something but identifiable as one of those buses anyway, that advertises Sierrita Restaurant.

Later on the same drive, I pass under Three Slashes Road. Later still, Sore Finger Road. Later still more, the Kashmiri friend at whose house I will spend the coming night calls, to ask where I am and give me directions. I pull off the road to talk. When we are done, I look up. I am stopped under a sign that says "Kashmir Road". I am not making this up.


Young man in rural Texas tried to persuade me to go stay at a fancy old hotel nearby. Two of his reasons were:

  • "You're a writer? You hafta check this out. They have a real typewriter, you know those old things with those keys you press and a lever flies up and all? And you can pay and use it."

  • "They have one of those old record players and some records too! Just great! You can check out the player and pick out some records, and you can sit in your room and play it."

    I see his point. And this was friendly advice. So I didn't let on that I have a record player and a few hundred records, so the novelty factor would be kind of wasted on me there. And let's be frank, typing on a typewriter? Not something I want to pay to do.

    chica said...

    Oh, My dad would be so angry we made him get rid of his old typewriter. I can almost hear him say 'see, we could have sold it for a good price'! Forget that it barely worked.

    Sidhusaaheb said...

    Coming to think of it, it's actually been a long time since I looked at a real typewriter...

    Where did I see it? Under a tin-shed, in a court complex...