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Creative Nonfiction

Somebody said that writers are slaves to conventions and standing their at the window he cannot but agree that the view has never changed.The shops rose to malls,the bodaboda shielded to taxis or were fixed with ambrellas but still he sees the old dusty town or does he see his memory,he is a writer anyway.There by the road he watches as a small boy chases his sister and their mother behind like a shepherd follows.

The time approaches noon and the big clock ticks to remove him from his daydream at the window.As he turns his eyes spot the white envelope that lies on the writing table next to an old black typewriter.He walks to the table and picks the letter as he sits down to an adjacent chair it creaks of weight despite his slender features.

"White letters mean work,brown means bank."

He opens the letter slowly for a broke man whom for twenty years has not qualified the term scribbler,just that of a broke old man but don't blame him,blame the people that jilted realism to wallow in the fantasy of lies called romance and something he still wonders is why all these best selling romances share a tittle of 'billionare,,,,blah blah' and seem to have a line for all,"I met a guy on tinder who would later come to change my life."

He retrieves the small white paper inside and leans back comfortably,to read what he knows as some publisher tired of all the shit called romance.

"Mr George Mamaih"

The paper in his hand shakes a little not of fear but of the little things life begins to deny you when you are approaching its end,those weaknesses you know.

when his eyes move away from the white paper,the window is dark and so he walks slowly to a corner and presses the socket which switchs on a small bulb above that creaks with exhaustion,the light descends slowly to light the room and there only shelves covered with dusty books and nothing more, just the emptiness that the small desk makes,if someone says that our environment depicts our minds,this time they would win the debate.

He has learned pretty late in life that he forms attachment like bonds including with his enemies,no wonder his shelves are full of books like,"The young man with the flying Trapeze(w.saroyan)."which he didn't like after reading it but also didn't like the idea of throwing it away,so his life like his library is a compost of the past,which sometimes overwhelm him but he can't resist it.As he moves to his typewriter he can't imagine the thought of living it behind,when his friends come to visit him on rare occasions they marvel at the strangeness of it,the stair keys,the metallic make,some confuse him to a habit that grows with age, a collector.

As he presses the faulty 'p' memories come welding down his mind,memories long gone of a young writer arriving in Nairobi,with a bag of three pairs of clothing and an only inheritance his father left behind,a typewriter, then it did not attract attention just pitty of a town that needed ground skills not some educated fool with the only thing he can offer a developing country are scribbles, that was Kenya in the sixties now thirty years later,the same Nairobi but different infrastructure offers him a job.people have made,fed and now they need to be entertained.

The letter has come from the chairman of longhorn publishers,a man whom he only saw on the small black and white tv set that his daughter now a nurse at kenyatta National Hospital had bought him, although he saw it as a bribe to take care of a grandchild who came as a package with the tv set, he still enjoys it, the beautiful news anchors who call him dear viewer,at least somebody thinks he is dear.

The letter was a commission to write a book which he could have easily refused but the zero's somewhere at the end convinced him differently,God knows he needed the money.But the deadline was only a few months away and living with the typewriter for thirty years made him see the impossibility it posed together with his grandson who was on a school break and could jump any minute now in here, made him see the mountain ahead.Computers had just began arriving in Kenya and had caused a stir,including descarding typewriters,his daughter had told him unlike typewriters the computer could save documents,only with a click you erase and nothing like the noises the typewriter made, she had one.

His mind by all means was resisting it,the typewriter had served him well and he could not discard it like the rest of the world because the computers were fast but his typewriter was his past,he needed the money,he was old but not dead so money still held value to him like anybody else but the only thing between him and it was a computer.

The chair creaks some more as if to copy the turmoil that is brewing inside him,not in the wildest dreams did he vision a future like this,yes he had read H G wells but his submarines were different,his monsters too,could he ever chose between his pad and this new 'pad' as he walks out back to the window,the lights in the neighborhood are on but the difference between morning and now is only but the sun,and so his eyes can still find distraction but his mind can't.

His mind is holding a debate and he is forced to be a spectator,the mind argues that the computer destroys the purity of art,the psychologist had long proven that writing was not divine with some cognitive terms of how writers are only people that can copy memories,so the only thing that remained was the effort in pressing the typewriters,the noise created some Industry noise that made it look like work and now here there computers come to destroy that one effort,yes his fellow scribes have found joy in it, he is no judas, but the generation of the last true scribes and he won't be defiled,not in the heart he cannot but in the mind maybe he will, just for the money.

February 24, 2021 14:55

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2 comments

23:38 Mar 25, 2021

Writer writing a writing story about writing? Yes, I need introspective things like this in my life right now. While your character felt a little... nonexistent(?), your tone is literally impeccable! I can’t wait to see more of your writing :)

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Collins Jerry
18:28 Mar 26, 2021

Thanks chief,it was impromptu, so didn't have enough time to understand the character as a person.Try reading william saroyan he has this way of describing things like going to the barbershop and they are 🔥

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