I think in lead and ink

Writing implements are an important part of my life. I carry with me a fountain pen, a ballpoint pen, and a mechanical pencil.

I use the fountain pen for writing. For business matters - signing checks and credit card slips - the ballpoint. For correcting letters and articles, the mechanical pencil with a much-used eraser. In my shoulder bag I carry essential spare parts: lead and erasers for the pencil, ink cartridges for the pens. (I gave up on ink bottles. Too messy.)

Using a fountain pen makes me feel part of a grand tradition, a link to writers who through the centuries have put pen to paper.

On the subject of paper, being a lawyer, I favor long legal pads. Each sheet is an inviting space waiting to be filled.

The clatter of a typewriter I find distracting. My mother, who was otherwise amazingly unmechanical - she experienced difficulty opening car doors and could not manage a can opener - was transformed when sitting in front of a typewriter. Her fingers raced along the keys like those of a concert pianist performing a Tchaikovsky piano concerto. Mother acquired typing skills at a secretarial school in Boston after arriving on these shores at age 16 in 1919 from revolution-torn Russia.

Yesterday I purchased a new fountain pen. I am using it for the first time. It replaces a purchase I made from a peddler on West 43rd Street. Out of an attaché case he produced a brand-name pen, charging me $15. Probably a counterfeit, the pen looked fine, but the ink flow was irregular. To get the pen to work, I needed to wave it up and down in the air. Writing a paragraph became an athletic endeavor.

I paid $67 for my new pen, a not insignificant sum of money, but modest compared with the $400-plus pens in the lower Manhattan store where I purchased it. Hefty in weight and size, the pen is mahogany-colored with gold trim. The price is high enough for me to be attentive to its whereabouts - losing pens is a frequent occurrence - but not so high that I would be fearful of removing it from its box.

I have yet to try the computer.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK