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Kerry looked at the words.  He hadn’t added to them in a while.

He’d picked up the typewriter at a local pawnshop.  It was an IBM Selectric from the early sixties that ran with a serious electric hum.  Every carriage return had a recoil that shook the whole casing.  Kerry liked that, liked the heft of it. 

That was where he got stuck.  All the different things he could say getting jammed together like stuck keys.  None of them any better than keeping his mouth shut.

He took out the paper, crumpled it up and threw it away. The Selectric had been running for a while; the ribbon had gotten hot and he could smell it—a faint machine smell, ink and hot vinyl.

He smoked one cigarette, then another.  Then he rolled a fresh sheet of paper into the Selectric and began to type.

            Kerry rolled the page out of the Selectric, read it over, then crumpled it up into a ball and threw it into the trash.  He smoked another cigarette.  He was down to two in the pack.

            He got the letter out of the trash and took it over by the sink.  He got his lighter out of his pocket and lit the sheet of paper at one corner.  Then held it over his sink and watched it burn. 


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