This is how one of the machines in Musee Mecanique works:
1. you turn a dial to select your astrological sign
2. put your left palm on a ledge to “establish a mystic connection”
3. (put in two quarters)
then the typewriter in the machine begins clacking away letter by letter on a sheet of smooth white paper, and dispenses it out the side. It’s funny how people want to believe in magic. We were laughing at how gimmicky the steps were, but whenever the old typewriter started going, all three of us stared transfixed, unwilling to break the connection between our palms and the worn out wooden ledge. I don’t believe in fortunes churned out by cogs and twinkling lights — evidently not daring enough to join the boys for skydiving on saturday! But being here for two full months has given me the time and bravery to admit that there is a world beyond the safehouses of home and familiarity, beyond southeast asia and smalltown america, and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to savor it ripe, juicy and whole.