My friend the doctor laughs at me for my typos. I’m not sure why. I’ve never said a word about his and he makes considerably more of them than I do. I think maybe he expects me to be perfect because I am a writer. I don’t think writers are supposed to be perfect though. Maybe some writers are, but not me. I’ve always believed that was why we have editors. My friend just insisted that I am perfect.
“You should write a story about typos,” he said.
“That would be a mistake,” I replied. “I could write a joke about the funniest typo I ever made and then I would be about out of subject matter.”
Then, as I was amused with myself for realizing the pun that making the mistake of writing about typos would literally be a typographical error, I realized that a good writer wouldn’t let a simple thing like a lack of subject matter get in the way of literature. I don’t think of myself as a good writer, but I want to be one, so I decided (without telling the doctor) that I would accept the challenge. Well, more or less…
I have a life. No one ever recognizes it, but I have a life. I am constantly seeking recognition, but the more noticeable I become, it seems the more those who discover me want to eradicate me. What is the purpose then in my life? People make me a part of their lives almost every day, and yet no one appreciates me. They just want to get rid of me.
What did I ever do wrong? I appear in the funniest places where I bring mirth and joy. Sometimes, I choose a setting so picturesque I coin a new and clever word just by my arrival! I have my very own key dedicated to me on keyboards. I have inspired great inventions. I can trace my ancestry back to the beginning of written history, and I’ve butchered at one time or another every language ever written! Yet I am considered nothing more than a nuisance, an unwanted blot on a page.
What will happen when I just refuse to show my face anymore one day? Will you miss me? Will you wonder where I went and why I won’t come to play with you anymore? When I’ve been gone for a month, will you forget me? I know Clippy will miss me! But will you?
Stop and think about me for a minute. Don’t I have one small precious moment in your life somewhere that you don’t really want to let go? Haven’t I helped you have a laugh at yourself when you were frustrated? Haven’t I given you something to talk about in a chat window when you ran out of words but still wanted to talk? Isn’t there some word you carry around in your vocabulary that you think of as your own, but that you really got from me?
I can’t answer those questions for you. But I can answer one. I know whether or not I really have a life and the answer is yes. I do have a life! And you can help me preserve it. It’s simple. All I need you to do is make a mistake, and once, just once, recognize me when you see me, and smile because you remember we are friends.
I know, it’s not really a story, but I didn’t back away from the challenge either.
I won’t leave you hanging wondering what little subject matter I did have. I do have my own personal favorite. I was typing one day and in the middle of typing the word “type” I could only laugh so hard I had to stop typing. I had fat-fingered the letter P and typed out the word T-Y-P-O-E. 🙂
© 2010 Anne Schilde