Flash in the Pan

A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

Memory Of Mimeo

by Christy Wise

Sometimes in grade school, our teacher handed out worksheets that had just come off the mimeograph machine. I'd grab the piece of paper and bury my nose in it, inhaling the strong odor of the purple ink. I loved it. The smell was sort of like medicine, or like something you might put in a car's engine. A combination of the healing and industrial: all chemical. Quickly, once exposed to air, the smell dissipated. If the paper was really fresh off the mimeo machine, it was also slightly damp. But that, too, would soon disappear. I recall a few others around me doing the same thing. There were enough of us that no one made fun of us, unlike most things in elementary school where you would pay for doing something deemed unusual. But in this case, I'm not sure I would have cared. I loved it that much.

Christy Wise writes from Washington, DC. Her email:

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