Prized Possessions (also, “Hey buddy, don’t touch my pen.”)

It’s a common enough writerly quirk, but I’ve never been a pen snob. My mother claims she physically cannot write with a cheap ballpoint pen. There exist quite a number of grocery lists and address book entries to the contrary, but I don’t call her out on it. Not much, anyway. I do appreciate that sometimes the word ‘can’t’ feels an awful lot like a synonym for ‘really-don’t-want-to’.

But now I see things a little differently. Look at what I’ve got:

A remarkable kid made this for me. He plays in the middle school chess club that I run.It’s lovely, isn’t it? Burled wood with gold and gunmetal accents.

But seriously, who makes pens? This young guy does; on a lathe even. It’s a craft passed down from his grandfather.  In the short time I’ve known – we’ll call him “A” – I’ve had multiple moments of being terribly impressed. “A” shines in every facet except for maybe in self-confidence, but he’ll get there. He kind of has to. He’s just one of those people you meet and you see it right away: that glow of potential. And now I have a souvenir from the time I crossed his comet-trail.

When I saw the one-of-a-kind works of art he makes in his spare time, I commissioned one for myself. I paid for the materials, but his time and artistry are a wonderful gift that I will treasure, and also sign some books with.

And now I am a pen snob.

Don’t touch my pen.

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6 thoughts on “Prized Possessions (also, “Hey buddy, don’t touch my pen.”)

  1. Welcome. Here is your membership card. I believe you’ll do well here.

    Also as a pen snob I am jealous. That is a beautiful pen.

  2. I’m not really a pen snob, but I have a way too large collection of fountain pens. One of the lamentable side effects of the electronic medical record is that I rarely get to write much in my work day. I used to write a lot.

    Pelikans have the best nibs, in my opinion. Very flexible.

    If you like a very fine nib, look for a Japanese pen. They make some lovely ones.

  3. I’m not a pen snob at all, though I do love and use fountain pens. Japan makes amazing and very affordable fountain pens for under 25.00. They’re import only but you can find them online. My very favorite fountain pen is made by Namiki (owned by Pilot) and has a retractable point. On sale, they’re in the range of 75.00 to 90.00, used ones are under 50.00, and a used fountain pen often means Isaac got one for his bar mitzvah or Sally for graduation, and never used it.

  4. Wow. Not many get a gift like that in their lives. It’s beautiful, and this fine young person has endowed it with a soul.

    “Crossed his comet-trail” — sigh. That pen has found a hand that will do it justice.

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