Friday, April 15, 2011

Typing with Unbearable Loudness

I finally realized it three weeks ago, when I sat typing away in the upstairs room at Central York Library: I am loud.

With most things in life, I am a loud person. I eat loudly (just ask my wife, who must endure my practice of machine-level cereal chomping every night after dinner is through); I speak loudly; I laugh loudly; I perform other certain things done on the potty loudly. And, as an elderly white-haired woman sitting at the computer next to me confirmed at the library, I certainly type loudly.

I am not sure why, but I can't seem to help or change it. Currently, I type these words in a computer lab at the library on the University of York campus. As I look up, I see approximately a dozen other people typing, and it befuddles me how they have come to possess such a marvelous skill as typing softly.

They are all typing things.

Right now.

I can see them.

But the thing is that I can't hear them typing.  And when I stop typing, the room assumes a calm, peaceful ambiance of a work-atmosphere imbued with learning, growth, and knowledge.

When I begin pounding the letters on this keyboard again, the steam engine cranks up, the demolition team carries forth, and the noise level shoots through the roof.

The elderly lady who confronted me three weeks ago over my disorder of Unbearable Loudness in Typing (ULT) was quite kind. She smiled, and she even put it to me as a question: "Excuse me, young man, do you realize that you are making quite a lot of noise as you type?"

To which I could only reply, as kindly as possible, "Yes, but I don't know how to type quietly."

She then smiled--a bit less kindly--and returned to the work on her computer screen. Meanwhile, I closed my document and brought up the New York Times webpage in an attempt to salvage my elderly friend's computer time by reading rather than writing.

I am unsure if anyone else has this problem, and if so, I'd be honored to hear of any solutions. Thus far, the only one I can manage is to type unbelievably slow. Painfully slow, really.

Which, perhaps, is a solution in itself: eat slower, write slower, live slower, type slower. I'll give it a shot and see how it goes. If it's successful, maybe I'll be able to locate my library pal and sit alongside her with my head held high and my dignity entact, typing lines that she cannot hear.