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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

entry arrow8:30 PM | Character Sketches No. 2 : The Vampish Typist

She spends most of her days in this hole-in-the-wall right between a second-tier department store named Nijosa and what used to be Dell Photoshop, before photoshops went the way of dinosaurs in the age of digital cameras. (Now, what used to be Dell is a print shop that specializes in making tarpaulins.) Our woman -- she must be past fifty, pushing sixty -- comes from the analog age, too. The hole-in-the-wall, only six feet wide but stretches inside to a length of a few rooms, is a shop where you go to have your documents typewritten, and it must have enjoyed its heyday in our little university town where thousands of term papers and feasibility studies needed to get reproduced, carbon copy upon carbon copy, before computers became too much a fixture of our everyday lives. I remember our woman from my earliest days, and she was already there, right near the entrance, in front of her typewriter, tapping out document after document, day after day after day. But it is not her perseverance at a fragile profession that makes her stand out for many of us. It is the way our woman goes to work everyday, always in a sexy dress with thin straps, always in something silky or flowered, always in black or red stilettos. She wears her hair (dyed black) in a buoyant Farrah Fawcett fly-away cut, the tresses all perfectly in place, and her make-up is severe in the way that she puts them on uncompromisingly thick and glorious. When she goes on her break, she simply leaves her typewriter, a page sticking out like a white tongue, and goes to the nearest bakery, near the corner. There she eats, then smokes, and then comes back to her spot, and begins typing again. I have never seen our woman smile. But it has been a while since I've seen her. Is she still typing, somewhere? Or have our computers and our printers completely obliterated the way she has lived for so many years? But how we miss her sexy dress, her sexy walk, her sexy shoes -- and how she seemed to dare the passing years and their threats of obsolescence with every pore of her existence. She will lose, of course, but she will live on as a distinct mark in an Old Dumaguete that is dying every single day to new malls, new cars, new people, new noises...

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