It's a bit confusing to some people but I really hope you read it! It's in two different time : the past and the present. Feedback would be nice!
A quick summary:
Catherine used to love the clicking of her mother's old typewriter. That is, until the divorce. When her mother gets so consumed into her writing, Catherine has no choice but to take matters into her own hands....
*Remember: if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all! Unless it's constructive critisism!*
The sound of my mother furiously typing on her typewriter filled our tiny apartment. I could just see her long, thin fingers fumbling over the keys but never missing the desired letter or symbol.
Being an amateur author-to put it lightly-my mother was always sitting at the kitchen table with a sheet full of ideas and a cup of coffee at her side. Or, at least, they were within her reach.
I did not mind the fact that my mother was always writing, chasing her dreams over mountains and riversides, and I did not mind that she was usually too busy to spend time with me. I was too busy with my own various activities: Basketball on Tuesdays and Thursdays; Debate on Wednesdays; Drama on Mondays and Saturdays; Football games on Fridays.
She was booked and so was I.
What bothered me was the sound of the ridiculous typewriter that she insisted she used. It had been fun for the first week or so, having the various clicking sounds spaced at random intervals echoing through the apartment. It greeted me like an old friend when I came home from school and was the last thing I heard before drifting off to sleep.
Then, Mom and Dad got a divorce and, as soon as the divorce was finalized, the clicks that I once thought of as fun and peaceful turned into a sign that Mom was either angry or depressed. Normally, she was angry when she was writing and she filled her characters with such resentment ad malice.
In some ways, her characters were much like herself. When you think about it, her characters are based off my mother. They were usually good-looking women in their mid-thirties that were either being cheated on or divorced.
But those are, fortunately, stories for another boring, rainy day.
The rain is pounding against the window as I type, the rough winds rattling the thin windows. As I run my fingers over the flat keys of the typewriter, I stop to think of what my mother would say. Almost an entire life story condensed to two or three pages? She would ask, clucking her tongue. Where are the details, Catherine, the emotion?
Shaking my head, I would reply, They’re there, Mom. You just have to look for them. You just have to look. You never looked close enough, never noticed the hidden details.
The typewriter stopped and I knew it was safe to come out of my room. Pushing my door open, I stepped into the living room and saw my mother pacing back and forth with the phone clutched in her hand.
“…but I really shouldn’t call him,” my mother was saying as she raised the phone up to her ear, her finger on the talk button.
“Mom?” I whispered, hoping she wouldn’t hear me and I could slip out unnoticed.
She looked up, staring right past me, then back at the phone. It was as if I wasn’t even there.
“I think I’m going to call him,” she mumbled, twisting her brown hair around her tongue. “Yes, I’ll call him.”
I heard the beep! as she pressed the talk button and the words that shortly followed it.
“Hello,” she said, her tone clipped and serious. “Rich, we need to talk…about Catherine. Yes, I suppose so.”
I watched as my mother walked into the kitchen, her voice trailing behind her. Hearing her feet slapping against the linoleum floor of the kitchen, I decided to leave while I could. While I still had my sanity. I wouldn’t say that it wasn’t there; it had slowly been deteriorating with my mother’s endless worrying and countless outbursts.
Shutting the door behind me, I didn’t know where I was going or how I was going to get there. I just knew I was going somewhere far away from my emotional mother and her look-a-like heroines.
Walking-well, trudging-down the flight of stairs that stood between freedom and me, I realized that all I had ever wanted was freedom. Don’t get me wrong, my mother let me go places when I asked. She hardly ever noticed me when I was there and when I wasn’t there, well, she never noticed.
“All this space and nowhere to go,” I sighed.
As I stepped outside, the brisk winter air swirled around me, sending shivers down my spine. In my haste to get away, I had forgotten my jacket. Smart move, Sherlock, I thought as my teeth chattered. I hate the cold but I’m not going back in there.
The park bench was cold underneath my bare calves. It hadn’t been the smartest idea to wear shorts in the middle of an Iowan winter.
“I’m so stupid,” I said to nobody in particular. “I’m so stupid.”
I could feel the stares, of course, as people walked by. Just picture the scene: A fourteen-year-old girl wearing shorts and a ‘Kill It, Cook It, Eat It’ t-shirt sitting on a hard, metal bench in the middle of winter. Did you picture it?
Yeah, that would be a pretty strange sight.
In fact, all those people around me were seeing that sight. Some stared, some whispered. Most offered me a sweatshirt or blanket. Those people, the ones that offered me those things, could shove it.
Sure, it was cold outside; it was only ten degrees. However, I managed to survive. If I hadn’t you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
Right now, I am thinking about my mother and how lucky she is to have escaped. Even if it was only for a short period of time, she escaped. And for that, I will always envy her.
My family, if you haven’t already guessed, is-was-dysfunctional. My father, a man who has committed adultery multiple times, had four wives before my mother and three after; my mother, an aspiring writer with a few screws loose, admitted herself into Sunny Brooks, a mental institution, years ago; finally, my only real brother, Jareth.
Jareth was a sweetheart when he wanted to be. He was neither a cheater nor insane. He was just Jareth.
But Jareth is dead.
He was coming home from a party on his seventeenth birthday and the driver, an overweight druggy who had twelve too many drinks, crashed the car. A telephone pole smashed the passenger side of the clunky Lumina and cracked Jareth’s skull, letting too much blood between his skull and brain and killing him.
But this isn’t about Jareth; it’s about me.
Thinking of these things is making my eyes water. I can’t take it. I don’t want to look like the window with little droplets of water running down my face.
I just can’t.
I am sitting here, at my desk, and typing on the dusty typewriter that my mother loved so much. The only connection I have to her.
The words are forming on the page by themselves now; I don’t need to think about them, just let them flow from my fingertips and form the words, sentences, and paragraphs that will soon contain my life.
It was dark outside and the people had gone home. I hadn’t minded them but I hadn’t minded that they were gone, either. Their constant chitchat was now a buzzing in the back of my head. It was like a stubborn rash that wouldn’t go away, no matter how much cream you applied to it.
The only other person there was a plump woman with gray curls framing her pudgy face. She would look over at me and give me sympathetic looks and offer me one of her many cheeseburgers or iced teas.
She wasn’t fat, not one bit. She was filled in quite well but not to the extent that she had five rolls showing through her purple cardigan.
“Oh, dear,” she said after ten minutes of silence. “Come over here. You must be freezing. And you look hungry.”
As if on cue, my stomach let out a deafening grumble. She laughed and patted the spot next to her, holding out a foil-wrapped cheeseburger.
Reluctantly, I sat next to her and took the burger. Unwrapping the cheeseburger, I bit into it, letting the mustard and ketchup mix together to form a symphony of flavor.
The woman next to me smiled and polished off the one she had been eating for the past half hour. Looking down, I realized that there were no more cheeseburgers or wrappers. Had she only gotten two? I thought.
As I bit into the cheeseburger again, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out of my pocket and looked at it. It was my mother.
Going away for a few days. Be back soon. Love you.
Figures, I thought. She only cares about herself and not anybody around her. She only thinks of the short-term affects and not how this will affect me in the future.
I sighed and devoured the rest of my cheeseburger, thinking of where I would go. I couldn’t stay at the apartment and Dad wouldn’t want me around.
I had nowhere to go.
As I am sitting at my desk, I think of how I had nowhere to go and how I still have nowhere to go. Dad is long gone, off to Prague to chase after European women in their twenties and my mother…I haven’t seen my mother since the day I left home. The day she admitted herself into the mental institution.
Looking back on that day, I realized that I never truly belonged anywhere. All I have now is the dusty typewriter that once belonged to my mother.