Friday, May 3, 2013
Suddenly I see. I see myself like the woman on a movie screen writing by candle light with a pen that she dips in ink. So I jump. I jump and go to a shop that has nibs, handles and ink pots. I return home, sit upright, place nib in handle, dip. And get nothing but the sound of scratch on paper. Dip again. I wait a few more days. Dip again. Scratches. Scratches and a few scribbles. So I leap. I leap up and go back to the shop and explain to the clerk what I see coming from my hand. Okay, yes, yes, more nibs. G nibs, flex nibs. I reverse to home and good posture. Nib, dip, ink, paper. More scratches and scribble. So I fly. I fly to another shop with more pens. A clerk suggests a fountain pen with a pointed nib. This fills with the ink color of my choice. Fine place to start, she says. Go slow, she says. Jane Austen, she says, had a lot of free time. You, she says, will not write a novel with a dip pen. Well, I reply, I have no plans for a novel. I desire only to script a handful of post cards or diary entries. I desire an antidote to the tap-tap-tap-tap on my keyboard. So I buy. I buy, fill. And I clog. I clog the pen with black ink made for dipping. So I put down the pen and delay. I delay for days before returning to any shop where old-school, fancy-pen art people advise. Then, another movie and another woman dipping and writing. So I walk. I walk to the shop counter where a clerk takes my pen to wash, rinse, wash. We watch together as she moves the pen across a note pad for minutes, many minutes, waiting for flow to return. I feel my heart beat in my ears when finally we see pale blue and then dark indigo running from the nib. So I order. I order a second fountain pen, one with a broad-edge nib. The pen arrives a few weeks later. Now I use the right ink. And I write. I write letters, words, sentences. The slowness satisfies like touching silk. I skip. I skip because I'm feeling love for a pen. I pick up the closed ink pot. And I fumble. I fumble the pot through thumb and fingers. It lands on the floor, lid down, and cracks. Beaver brown fluid spreads across the wooden floor under my feet. I run. I run for paper towels.