There’s a typewriter repair shop on Calle Libertad one block north of Plaza Nueve Esquinas, a stone’s throw south-west of Guadalajara’s historic center.
Peering into its gloomy interior, the eye slowly adjusts, revealing a massive heap of mechanical typewriters stacked at odd angles about eight-foot high, stopping just two feet shy of scraping the ceiling. Out of the middle of this forlorn heap of black, brown and beige obsolescence peers a small, rumpled man in late middle-age with the mien of a drowsy koala.
Jose de Jesus Hernandez Meza has been a resident of Nueve Esquinas, a compact urban jigsaw whose eponymous feature (nine corners) is formed by the haphazard convergence of three lanes, for 40 years. Twenty of these have seen him tinkering with the epistolary machinery of a bygone era in his walk-in closet-sized shop, called Reparacion de Maquinas de Escribir (Typewriter Repair Shop).
Hernandez opened a glossy – and, as it turns out, expired – brochure plucked from the dusty shelves that line the wall opposite the front door.