The Joy of a New Pen


A new pen is both easy to achieve and immeasurably rewarding. Those are two things that don't often fall alongside one another. Maybe that's why I have so many pens.

The selection I have isn't particularly noteworthy, and contains only a few "expensive" models. I think the most I've paid is $20 for a Cross, and I only know it's a Cross because one time I was writing something and a person nearby said "Is that a Cross?" Only I was confused by the question, and thought he was asking if I was wearing a cross. I absolutely know that my Parker pens are Parker pens, and that's because the little clip has a design I like, and also I enjoy thinking of them as the pens used by the character Parker, or by Richard Stark the pseudonym, or Donald Westlake the author behind those two. There is also a Space Pen because the Gilmore Girls mentioned it, which is true of a lot of the pop-culture I know of now.

Most of the pens are disposable, plastic, cheap, and easily lost. Some of them get tossed to the trash because they won't write on Post Its easily, or because I poke myself through my pants with them too easily. Ink runs, or dries in weird ways, or seeps through the page.

Today I bought the pen pictured, a Zebra F-701. I wanted a fine tip, and I found one that not only looked sleek, but had a grip which intrigued me through the packaging. It looked more suited to draftsmanship, some kind of work bench tool, than to jotting down weird ideas for plots. Or writing "New pen" followed by the date, something I try to do when one shows up.