There is an audio version of this story with lovely music by Henning Ohlenbusch. you can get to it by going to the "Talks With Music" page.
Fred, who proofread army textbooks, lived alone, and was smitten with his next-door neighbor Mona, who taught an army Morse Code class at Fort Huachuca and also lived alone. He had wanted to express these sentiments when he met with her at Fort Huachuca to discuss revisions to her textbook, Dots and Dashes Without Tears. He was painfully shy, though, and could never bring himself to declare his love.
“Would that I had the courage to speak to her,” he wrote in his computer journal, “I would talk to her about movies, music, and the invention of the telegraph.”
One day, Fred saw an old man crossing the street, quite unaware of the truck that showed no signs of stopping for the red light. Fred bolted into the street, and pulled the old man out of the way so that the truck missed them both by the thickness of a dime
The old man was a typewriter repairman, and he wanted to repay Fred for saving his life. In his shop were a variety of classic machines for those who longed to write old-fashioned letters. The old man took a typewriter off one of the shelves, and placed it on the counter.
“This is an Hermes 3000,” he said, “if you put your faith in it, your feelings will find their way to your next door neighbor.”
“I am dubious,” said Fred shyly.
“Trust the typewriter,” said the old man solemnly.
So Fred typed.
One evening, there was a knock at the door just as Fred had finished writing “I live in perpetual fear of the word ‘no,’ which condemns me to the word ‘alone.’”
When he opened the door he froze, a small squeaking noise escaping his lips.
“Sorry to interrupt,” said Mona, “but for the last two hours, you have been typing with loud strokes and soft strokes, and when you convert the soft strokes to dots and the loud strokes to dashes, it becomes, again and again, ‘I am your next door neighbor. I wish I had the courage to tell that you are all the beauty that has ever been and ever will be, and the mere sight of you is a lifetime of weekends.’”
She hurried on, looking at the ground as she spoke.
“I always wanted to talk about other things besides edits to Dots and Dashes Without Tears, but I’m quite shy, and have never been able to tell you that until now,” she said.
She paused, and took a deep breath.
“I know this is asking a lot, but could you write a letter to me?” she whispered.
For her wedding present the old man gave Mona received her own Hermes 3000, After their honeymoon Fred and Mona sat across from each other on a big partner’s desk and typed out their wedding thank you notes, expressing their love for each other in Morse code all the while.