Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – February 9, 2004
A Good Pen
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – February 9, 2004 – A good pen makes writing an enjoyable exercise. Over the years I’ve had a number of favourite pens. Not necessarily expensive pens like a Montblanc, but regular run-of-the-mill pens, easily purchased at an office supply store.
When I was in high school I always wrote with a fountain pen. My first such pen had an accompanying ink bottle, and you can only imagine the disasters that occurred. That system, in due course, was thankfully replaced with refillable ink cartridges. I always wrote with peacock blue ink.
Making a statement I’m sure. Exactly what the statement was, I have no idea. I think it may have been a counterpoint to all the irritating girls in my class named Cathy, Debby and Cindy who signed their names Cathi, Debbi and Cindi and replaced the usual dot over the last ‘I’ with a little heart. So annoying – I’m sure they belonged to a cult. I have no idea where they are today and no desire to find out.
My peacock blue phase ended with high school and as I marched through university, a good old Bic pen and my portable Brother typewriter were my instruments of choice. It was also the time when my handwriting, which had been quite distinctive, started to deteriorate. I don’t think this is a reflection upon either Bic or Brother.
When I started working, after university, having a nice pen became a little more important. I had a fashion buyer’s job for a few years, where writing orders and signing contracts was somehow more official if done with a good pen. I received a Cross pen as a gift and used it for a long time. One day it disappeared from my office, either theft or carelessness the culprit. I didn’t have a special pen after the loss of my gold Cross.
Over many years in the business world, I’ve used a number of types and styles of pen. I was partial to green ink in a roller-ball pen made by Pilot for a few years, but then that was discontinued. Black, red and blue ink have all had their turns on my address and cheque books.
However the use of my computer has all but made my quest for another expensive pen obsolete. My penmanship and signature have deteriorated past the point of recognition and now I only use a pen to witness legal documents for clients, write the odd cheque or jot down a grocery list.
All is not lost. On a recent trip to Business Depot I spotted a new gel pen made by Pentel called the EnerGel. It’s sort of futuristic looking with a sleek grey body, a silver clip and a blue, black or red cap tip. It writes like a dream. Clients are always asking to borrow it for signatures and my EnerGels keep disappearing – the true sign of a sought after pen.
On my last shopping expedition for office supplies, I bought thirty of these little beauties, because I know one day I’ll be searching for this pen, only to discover that some highly paid executive “suit” at Pentel has axed it. But for now EnerGel and I are an item. How lovely that something as simple as a good pen can make my life a little more enjoyable.