as amazing as it sounds, i actually used an entire pen recently. i don’t mean i threw it away once it started sputtering and splotching and misfiring. i mean i was writing, ink was flowing and the words were filling the page, bold as day, and then the ink just stopped (followed by the words, naturally).
this never happens to me.
i’ve got a small army of half-used pens floating around the house. they lie on the desk. they sit on shelves. they sleep on the floor, just out of reach under the bookcase. they hide in cabinets and drawers. they’re everywhere, and somehow they never get used up, because i always buy new ones before i throw them away (fighting the tension between waste and actually being able to read what i write).
most of the pens i have floating around are woefully inadequate – strictly second-string in the world of writing implements (barely keeping the bench warm). you can feel the metal scraping across the page as you try to write, and there’s as much paper showing through your ink as there is ink covering paper. pretty sad, actually, but i keep these pens because they sort of work; if i needed to scrawl my dying words, they might just do.
pen manufacturers probably build their pens this way intentionally – decrepitude by design. it fits right in with the american modus operandi of consumption: everything is disposable, even if it’s still useful. well i for one am glad that the people who made that pen i used up don’t buy into that whole negative attitude towards properly engineered pens.
now, i just wish i had written down what kind of pen it was…i must not have been able to find anything decent to write with.
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