Monday, January 7, 2013
I want to know where all the pens go. Every month I buy a new box of them. Not the box of six. The box of twenty. I used to buy nice ones. I read reviews. I asked around. I tested them. I weighed them in my hand like a #$%^%$#ing broadsword and I asked myself “is this a pen I want to spend some time with?” “Is this a pen I can do some damage with?” Now, I just buy the cheap ones. There’s no point. We’re never going to have a relationship. But I’m trying to understand. I have a lovely office that I work in 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time I work on the couch. Pens are not allowed on the couch because they are sharp as #$%^%$#ing broadswords and might pierce the couch’s surface. So I have no reason to take the pens from my office. That leaves Lover and Thing 1 and Thing 2. Things 1 & 2 are recently literate and Lover has been literate since I’ve known him, so it’s not inconceivable that they could be pen-stealers. Only the Lover has his own desk with his own pen can. I looked. Do you know what’s in it? Pen caps. Because sure as snot drips downhill there aren’t pens in it. Wherever my pens are going, his are on their way there as well. This morning, I was so certain that Things 1 & 2 were to blame that I tossed their rooms (they are still young enough that tossing their rooms is considered culturally and psychologically acceptable)(i.e. any time under age 32). I looked under their mattresses. I looked in their closets. I looked underneath Thing 2’s rat cage and on top of Thing 1’s bookshelf. I found a pen cap in Thing 1’s room under her ninja outfit, but it didn’t match any of my pens. It was pink and glittery. Thing 1 hasn't possessed anything pink and glittery for over a year, not since she decided to become a ninja veterinarian. So this was a cap for a long-ago pen. Without much hope, I searched for the rest of the pen, but it was nowhere in evidence. All I had proven was that wherever my pens were going, Lover’s pens were also there, and so were Thing 1's. I sat down and had a think about this. Actually I sat down at the dentist’s office and had a think about it. I thought about it for an hour in the waiting room and then I thought about it while they extracted two teeth and then I thought about it after I had returned home to sit in my office chair, wishing I had a pen. Here we go. Pens are time-travelers. That’s the only explanation. In some future time that none of us have gotten to, the world is made of pens. It is like a hideous Dali-Shakespeare-H.G.Wells landscape where the horizon is formed of tidal slopes of Bics, Papermates, and Staedtlers, rolling about in plastic, pigment, and spring-powered carcasses. Overhead an anemic sun the color of an egg yolk weeps a dry eye for humanity. You know why? Because paper isn’t a time traveler. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and I have to agree. If I hung #$%^%$#ing broadsword on my wall, it would stay there. I hang a pen in the same place, and I guarantee you, this time tomorrow, that’s pen’s gone. To the future. Which is where I’m headed now. Just, um. Slower.
Posted by Maggie Stiefvater at 8:02 PM
May I Borrow Your Pen?