Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The smell of smeared blue

I was just reminded of Gestetner ink. How it would smell, how we would smell it. We would grab the damp page from our teacher or classmate, our assignment due. But first and foremost we would hold it to our faces and breathe. It was a cloying sweet smell that would rise through our nose and above and beyond. It would soften the best of us. Probably why it lasted so long in the teaching profession. Did other industries even use it? I don't remember. Our teacher would go into the room with the machine that none of us could use. Wearing gloves she would make copies for each of us. Usually during recess time. We always hoped she was running late so when she would bring them fresh to us, have one of us hand out the sheets hoping hoping they would still be damp. I remember them being warm, but that might have just been from her holding them to her chest, her breasts at just the right angle for presentation of the assignment. Then one of us would be selected to hand them out. Quickly. Then we would breathe. I most remember this from grades 4-8 because we were upstairs near the room where the copies were made. Location is everything as they say. Kids today [shakes cane] don't know the joy of this. Photocopies and certainly not PowerPoint's do not have the same allure. Gone with the years, technology removing a most tactile stimulation for kids.

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