Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pens with which to pen things

There is something about these crayons that I like; possibly because, if I did not know them to be wax, I would think they were jumbo fruit-coloured Tootsie Rolls, and attempt to eat them. I love Tootsie Rolls.

Why don't grownup writing instruments have this sort of edible design appeal? I suppose the theory is that it is the ink itself, or possibly the nib of a pen, that matters most. I myself loved for many years a Pilot pen I found in the snow one day that was white on the top and a kind of sky blue on the bottom (you had to untwist the two to get the refill in and out.) You clicked something on the end of it to retract the nib when you were done whatever masterpiece you recorded, which, in my case, was the sort of very serious masterpiece only a very serious 12-year-old can produce. Eventually I stopped being able to find a good refill supplier and moved on to something else with which to not write award-winning, best-selling, or even remotely appealing stories.

My brother, he of the Chinese stamp album, had a gift for calligraphy and so I dabbled in that a little myself, mostly making messes on paper and calling it art. It was the act of drawing letters - choosing the nib's shape, dipping it just enough into whatever ink colour seemed best, pressing hard enough to separate the metal tips of the nib so that more or less ink flowed onto the page where you wanted the line to be wider or thinner - I liked. That and shopping for new nibs, of course.

And now it's a keyboard that I use most. I still have a weakness for clicky things on pens though. Do you think the old Pilot is why?

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