I used to experience serious pen lust on a daily basis. It was all I could do to keep my hands off of a good pen.
I used to make jokes about it when I’d hand a pen back to a friend after borrowing it. “I don’t want to be a pen thief,” I’d say, all moral and righteous, while in truth I was thinking (in the back of my head), “Sucker! If your pen was halfway decent, it’d be mine, all mine, hahahahahahahaha.”
I had a serious case of pen kleptomania for years.
The pen didn’t need to be expensive. In fact, cheapo pens were good, as long as the ink flowed well. My drug pen of choice? Pilot Precise V-7 point, with blue or black ink.
A guy much younger than myself once seduced me because of his Pilot Precise V-7 point pen with light blue ink, something I had never seen before. Later, when I emailed him to say, “Sorry for stealing your pen, ha-ha,” he wrote a long email back letting me know he’d noticed how I glanced longingly at the pen, how I kept caressing it after he’d let me borrow it, how I kept subtly offering to return it to him even while snatching it back, how I’d secretly and surreptitiously (or so I thought) secreted it in my purse.
I was a goner for him.
There was even a time in my mid-teens when I couldn’t write my novel if I didn’t have the perfect pen with, yes, college ruled paper. (Wide-ruled just didn’t feel right and you couldn’t develop good characters or plot if you didn’t have the right kind of paper to match the right kind of pen.)
A few days ago, I went looking for a good pen and came up empty. What happened? It used to be that a good pen was more important than a good boyfriend. A bad boyfriend provided all sorts of material for angst-ridden poetry, but a bad pen only produced scratches and gouges and scribbles on a reluctant piece of paper. So what had happened to all my decent pens?
And then I realized. I don’t steal people’s pens anymore and I don’t buy decent pens anymore because I use my computer 24-7.
You know what I really miss? Ink stains. When I was in my early twenties, I swear, I thought ink stains were sexy. On me, of course. (I didn’t notice whether the guy had ink stains or not.) What guy wouldn’t want to date a passionate poet with ink all over her hands? It made me interesting. Mysterious.
And I’m sure they secretly found it totally hot, but in their out-loud voice, they usually mentioned mundane things like my eyes or my rear-end, never the ink-stained hands.
In all seriousness, I do miss pens. Pilot Precise V-7 point pens with blue or black ink, that is. Do other people still use pens the way I used to—with passion and fervor? Did other people experience the same ardor for ink?