Open a new page, select a font. When I finally shove it in, the editor will default it to the Chosen Sans Serif, but I do this because there was a time when one couldn’t. The typewriter chose the font, there was no autocorrect, the words had to be chosen, and chosen carefully. Enough miscues and the page would be ripped out dramatically, crumpled into a tiny ball, and cast aside like the drunks on the avenue nearby. Enough frustration and even the typewriter might hit the dungheap, the writer convinced “if only I had an Underhill, if only the clack of the keys, if only the letters lined up on the baseline.”
Now of course, things are different. The window is slightly ajar to let fresh air in, an attempt to mitigate the stifling ironic heat from the radiator still set to its winter setting. A distant siren peals through the night, to the imagination a life in the balance but more likely a craving for Chinese take-out. Somewhere there are lighthearted conversations, probably a hundred feet from where Uncle Joe Wills is beating his wife for the twentieth time, and there are deals being done on the stoop while inside the grandmother explains to the young how it was that Jesus wasn’t there when they rolled the rock away. The rain falls gently, not punishing, but encouraging the new, and a young woman looks forward to Monday because she’s finally got a job while a young man worries because it’s the first of April and he only had rent money through March.
The pulse of the city slows, but it never stops. The drunks fall down and the tradesmen haul it in at ten because the clock starts at seven. Most of us roll through the middle, hoping for the best but expecting the worst; we select our fonts but take what we’re given. Because the truth, though subjective, is unforgiving. It is what it is and there’s no point lying about it.
So I suggest to you that you do what you have to do. Light that cigarette and draw it into your lungs like a lover, tip that collar up against the wind, squint against tomorrow’s sun and swear that this time it’ll be different. Tolerate the wretches and the stabbing ignorance, find your place and elbow your way. Believe there’s something better when there’s only something different, and above all if you find someone who believes in you be worthy of their belief.