2 min read

This is my pen. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Throughout my whole life I used fountain pens. I started writing early and by the time I reached the "school age" I used a fountain pen. I would argue, that this early start is the reason why my handwriting, despite years and years at the keyboard, has not deteriorated and it is as legible and as pretty and uniform as it ever was. I have used my good handwriting recently to address my friend's envelopes for the wedding invitations (which I designed and made myself, too). My handwriting, my ability to draw and paint, are integral part of me. And so are the tools and the media that I use.

I don't write on a daily basis anymore, not since I left school, but I still do it more frequently than any of my peers. I know no one who is as obsessed about pens and inks as I am. By the last count I have 40 bottles of ink, each of different colour and quality. I am to this day fascinated and mesmerised by the way the ink dries and seeps into the paper as I write; as if my thoughts that were just in my head and intangible, uncaptured, suddenly spring into being and then slowly settle and become permanent, become a part of the world around me.

I have lost my favourite pen last week.

Because I don't write every day anymore, I didn't realise until yesterday that it was gone. When I did, there it was, a pit growing in my stomach, moment of panic, throat closing in on me, hands frantically moving objects on the table looking for the pen, items from my purse flying out one after another as if the pen was just hiding from me, wasn't lost, wasn't gone, didn't leave me, please don't leave me! I have gone through the apartment trice over before I had to go out and meet a friend, so I left, still with some hope of finding it. We went back to the pub we were at where I last used the pen, but the girl at the bar said that there was nothing pen-like in the lost and found box. Honestly, she didn't look like she cared, so I didn't really believe her.

Upon coming back home, I searched once more.

My boyfriend said I shouldn't worry. It was just a pen. You will get another. There are a plenty of pens out there. It was just a pen. It will be expensive to replace, but just a pen. An object. You shouldn't feel sad; it's unreasonable.

How can I explain? Pens, when used, are not just objects. I suddenly didn't only feel sad, and mad at myself for losing it, and betrayed by what of course is just an inanimate object, stupid inanimate object, but also so terribly alone. I realised, that I don't know anyone who understands my anguish over losing my pen. I don't know anyone I can tell that I lost my pen, without them saying, cheer up, it was just a pen, just a pen, a thing, you can buy a new one. They just talk to me in this voice reserved for dogs, children, old people and the insane.

I haven't lost my marbles! I have the right to mourn it. I have the right not want to replace it just yet. I have the right to feel that emptiness when I reach for it and it isn't there.

This was my pen. There are many like it, but this one was mine.
My pen, without me, is useless.

Without my pen, I am useless.