Ponderance and Activation by Tamara Wiens

April 8, 2013 Comments Off on Ponderance and Activation by Tamara Wiens

I stood, at 2:00 in the afternoon, ardently poised over a heavy, portable, but rather unwieldy manual typewriter balanced on the side of a pedestrian bridge overlooking the light rail station. The gray, cloudy sky sighed, piercing gold beams of sunlight through blurred holes in the vacillating, indecisive weatherscape. I glanced briefly down at the train waiting in the wings at tracks’ end. Not mine. Half an hour. But why should I — hair strands streaking forward, an electric grin on my face — be standing here, high off the ground with this indisputably anachronistic piece of technology from the day before the day before yesterday? The whole scenario winked an air of surreal comicality. Oddly, the bridge’s side rail was just wide enough to safely support the typewriter’s considerable weight, allowing me access to the keys without tipping catastrophically in either direction. I had acquired the thing from a friend-of-a-friend, and recently, it had been a curious companion, announcing conscious eccentricity and writer-hood more immediately than any current wonder of technology. Taking note of and fingering lightly the scratches where someone had long ago etched their initials, I pursed my lips and tapped out a testing rat-a-tat-tat stream of characters in a cacophonous burst. Reaching the end of the page, I carelessly turned the wheel, and the wind carried it away, depositing my keyed thoughts languidly on the concrete below. The audible kisses and sunny staccato exclamations in Spanish uttered by a jubilant couple passing by drifted up to linger on reddened earlobes. Leaning over the edge, I self-consciously applied flavorless lip balm to my cracked membranes as the conductor hopped in, and the train underneath came alive . . . or maybe the wind had just carried it away, and as the paper canvas of splashed thoughts reached the ground, a crack in the pavement widened hugely. It engulfed, and I imagined the momentary impressions pounded into that thin page drifting further and further down, into the chasm well beyond where I could see them. All I could see was the stenciled, generic form of a pedestrian painted on the cement platform, underneath the word DOOR, indicating where the exit doors would be. At the end of the car, there was a similar iconic image of the same faceless pedestrian, riding a bike. White light became gold then bronze then rust. The sun set on that one.

2012 Tamara Wiens

Tamara Wiens is an undergraduate at the University of Colorado who continually seeks to make the leap from dilettante to polymath.  She is fascinated by many things, including semiotics and metaphor, and enjoys using word processing software as her canvas over copious amounts of tea.  The world intrigues her, especially at night.

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