The Machine

TypewriterDear Sam,

The machine worked! Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here, obviously. Gosh, this is so awesome, man. I am so excited, beyond words. You have no idea how excited I am. My hands are not fast enough to catch up with the thoughts that are flowing out of my head right now.

Alright, first things first. I am okay, thank God. I came out in one piece. Everything’s here: the smartphone, the laptop, the SLR, the point-and-shoot, the period clothes, the power generator, and of course, the machine.

As expected, the smartphone is not working, so the only way I can communicate with you is through letters. I will write as often as I can and send it though the machine.

You will never guess what I am writing this with. A vintage Royal typewriter! Or, I guess it would be wrong to call it “vintage” since it is new now. So it’s a new Royal typewriter! I’ve always wanted to try out one of these things, and to write a letter the old-school way. You will notice that I omitted to write the date at the upper right corner of this page. This is supposed to be a formal letter, so I should’ve followed the rules of formal letter-writing. My reason is simply this: I want to keep you in suspense.

Alright, here it is: The date is — are you ready? — June 27, 1873! Can you believe it? The calendar says so. When you first proposed the idea to me a year ago, I thought you were out of your mind. I had zero confidence that you’d actually be able to pull it off, and yet here we are, or rather, here I am. This changes everything. This is the single greatest invention in all of history, and this is going to make us obscenely rich. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk will look like misers. Hah! Thank you for not wasting my investment. Two million pesos is just spare change for me, but I’m glad you didn’t squander it.

Okay, it’s now almost noon and I am starving. No one seems to be home. The house is utterly quiet, but I have a feeling the owners will be home soon.

I took a peak out the window just now — Gosh, how marvelous their windows look! They’re wide and smooth and adorned entirely with Capiz shells — and saw some tartanillas pass by. They were filled with people. The men wore camisas and the women wore sayas and panuelos.

This room is every bit as fascinating as I imagined it to be. Everything is made of polished hardwood: the floor boards, the tables, the chairs. There are glass-covered bookcases behind me and more to my left. There are busts and figurines on the table to my right, and more books, pens, and sheets of paper in the middle of the room. There is a portrait of a lady hanging on the wall. She looks very lovely. Probably a mestiza?

Wait, I hear something. It’s coming from downstairs. They’re probably here. I better stop now. I’ll send you this letter later. I ought to slip into my outfit. By the way, who should I pretend to be? A visitor from out of town? The new tartanilla driver? The latest household cook? I can’t make up my mind yet.

I’ll send you more news tomorrow. I sure hope they won’t turn me in to the civil guards and have me shot.



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