Sunday, August 05, 2012

A Matter of (Sentimental) Value

Pentel Twist-Erase

I had to go out of town for work a few weeks back--an extremely rare occurrence for me, which made it all the more stressful (read: I am a total wimp when it comes to leaving familiar ground). We went to Eastern Washington, which (generally unlike Western Washington) is quite hot during the summer. Knowing that there was a good possibility my belongings would be exposed to being left in a hot car, pencil made better sense than fountain pen to bring along for writing. I also knew I'd likely be wayyy too busy and on-the-go to mess around with sharpening, so mechanical pencil it was. Finally, I knew I'd be going to multiple sites, under major time constraints, so the chances of my leaving a pencil behind were pretty much guaranteed.

With all this factored in, I took along a purple Pentel Twist-Erase: rugged, dependable, well-equipped in the eraser department, and not too pricey or difficult to replace should the all-but-inevitable occur and it get permanently borrowed or left behind. I stuffed it full of leads, and off we went.

It had a pretty tough week: heavy and rough usage, and not just by me. Since I seemed to always be the one who always had a writing instrument at the ready, it got passed around a lot. People broke leads, it was dropped, tossed in linty purse pockets, and left (as predicted) in a car hot enough to do this to the gummy vitamins I foolishly toted along:

A few times I thought I'd lost it, or that someone had wandered off with it. But somehow, it came through it all without a hitch. We're still together. It got me through what was, to me, a very tense week, one little thing I could always depend on.

And I was just realizing I'm kind of nervous about taking it away from my desk, for fear I'll lose it. Because now it's special. We've adventured together, this little Twist-Erase and I. It's like the hero's horse in a quest: seems like now it deserves to be put out to pasture to live a life of luxury, lest something dreadful happen to such a well-loved and loyal servant.

OK, so that's all rather hokey. And I suspect I'll get over it sooner or later. Otherwise I could go broke buying inexpensive-ish mechanical pencils I'm afraid to take anywhere...


notagain said...

No, it's that kind of sentimentality that makes you a good writer.

Mike Speegle said...

Eastern Washington! You should have dropped me a line! I could have given you the nickel tour of the metropolitan wonderland that is Kennewick, WA.

Other'n that, though, I completely understand where you're coming from with your pencil-affection. I grow incredibly attached to the inanimate object in my life — especially creative tools like pencils, pens, typewriters, etc. — and whenever I lose one it rends my fragile coronary pump in twain.

However, when it does happen, I like to think that my misplaced tool will find their way into the appreciate hands of another who'll put them to good use.

Little Flower Petals said...

I did actually think about you, Speegle! I was in Sunnyside, so only about an hour away, I believe. However I a) didn't have a vehicle and b) had literally (correct usage) no leisure time AT ALL, so it wouldn't have worked out. But if I'm ever over that way in future, we should totally do a type-in. Or at least a scribble-in, if I'm unable to tote a typer.

Maybe I coulda sent you on a mission to Sunnyside to reacquire my pencil for me, if the worst had happened and someone perma-borrowed it. Glad it didn't come to that, though...

Bill M said...

You are not alone in attachment to writing instruments. I have a favorite pen or two as well as mechanical pencils.

The Pentel pencils are hard to beat for good pencils at good prices (although I use their more expensive technical pencils).

Loosing a good pen or pencil is like loosing a friend.

Kate said...

Not crazy at all. I have a black pen I picked up somewhere in my summer travels, and it's probably just a Papermate cheapo, but it's simple with its gray plastic casing and smooth black ink, and I've grown accustomed to its face.

Writers are sentimental.

Mike Speegle said...

Oh, I totally woulda hunted someone down to retrieve a pencil.

Anonymous said...

Thought I was one of the few who got so attached to writing supplies. It's not a matter of cost. (Except for my Pelikan 800 Souvran fountain pen. No one touches that.) It's a matter of familiarity and proven use.

My pens/pencils get loaned out like my pocket knives (another item of obssession): briefly and they don't leave my sight.

Jeff The Bear

Little Flower Petals said...

I've grown accustomed to its face.

Made me smile. That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?