Old Dogs

TECHNICIANS NEEDED


I was
so close
to the conclusion
of my obsessive
writing project

a hundred
of the damn things
two hundred forty one
single spaced
pages

I could finally
see an end
to the terrible trail
of revision
and rewrite

so close
and yet...

shit!

the striker
caught horribly
in a clump of ribbon
producing no characters
just a smudged
illegibility
of ink

God
was never
letting me leave
this literary
Purgatory

I pulled out
the print cartridge
and untangled the knot
smoothed out
the kinked tape
and rewound
the tainted portion
into the plastic housing
reaching a prettier
virginal length
of black ribbon

I reinstalled
the cartridge
and resumed my typing
only to encounter
the same problem
after just a few
clean lines

I repeated
the procedure
with the same result
finally realizing
that the ribbon
was not the culprit
and a more thorough
method of troubleshooting
would have to be
employed

exactly
the type of chore
from which I had hoped
writing would
free me

I removed
the cartridge
and correction tape
giving me a clear view
of the electro-mechanical
workings

the striker spring
appeared to function
as it should
but the pivot mechanism
was a bit stiff
so I took out
my handful of tools
to find a diminutive set
of ignition wrenches
one of which
happened to fit
the pivot securing nuts
allowing me to loosen
and disassemble
the parts

I cleaned
the striker and pivot
then reassembled them
carefully adjusting
the restraining
finger nuts
to insure free
movement throughout
the entire range
of travel

lastly
I reinserted
the ribbon cartridge
and correction tape
closed the cover
and prayed
for print

one line
two - three - four
all perfectly typed
without a hint of trouble
the machine
was actually repaired

I felt
like a technician
again
fixing something
after such
a lengthy hiatus
was an exhilarating feeling

maybe
there was still
some ability left
in these
rusty fingers

before
I started checking
the TECHNICAL/TRADES section
of the want ads
I thought
that maybe
I should
write out this account
to hopefully remind me
why I had escaped
the torments
of technology
so many
months ago

reading
over this now
it's difficult
to be sure
if I succeeded
in my flight

where's
the
newspaper?