It’s been over five years since that event.
In time, my restaurant tweets led to articles
, blog posts
, radio stories, and television mentions. I learned that my story was helpful in getting people to know about the underdog museum of Figueres (the town is home to a famous Dalí Museum and indeed that museum was the reason I originally went there, too).
Within Museu Tècnica de l’Empordà in Figueres, I’ve become a micro celebrity. Even today, once in a while, a new visitor mentions “the American” that they learn about the museums from.
In time also, with the help of my editor, I understood the true importance of the event. It wasn’t just the serendipity of the discovery and people’s reaction to it. It was also that on the very same day I got to experience the first QWERTY keyboard, on the first typewriter ever – and then the last one, on my iPhone, that I used to tell my story. That one day in October 2016, I witnessed the whole arc of the history of keyboarding.
The first opening chapter of the book – “Imagine, for a second, a finger pressing a key” – had to go. I replaced it with a new retelling of the museum story, and rewrote the last chapter to match it.
The first sentence of the book now reads “What do you do when you find yourself among hundreds of keyboards?” The joke is that it’s not just a question I faced in 2016: there are hundreds of keyboards in the book itself, and now you’re surrounded by them, too.