Pen’s out of ink, shit. I scribble a little on top of the page, toss a quick signature, but I’m just in denial. The indents strain across the notebook invisible: cavernous lines sit dry and empty. I keep at it but my tries are beginning to tear into the page.
Where did I leave off?
The pen’s done and I’m forgetting what I wrote. I turn the pen around in my hand and tap it on the edge of the page; fling the stretched metal clip with my thumb. I read from the last line I got out,
“I say nothing, but her word…”
The ink trails off at the d and ends.
Ok, that’s fine. Just one more piece of dialogue then end it.
I toss the pen onto the notebook and look to my desk first. I grab a pen out of the graveyard to give it a futile try. Nothing, not even a gasp of breath. I toss it back in the holder and take a glance around the room; maybe there’s one in my bag. Nope. Ok, alright,
Gotta get this page done, at least. Maybe I don’t have to finish it tonight, just a few hundred more words. I find one lonely in a desk drawer: a fat green click pen from a bank. I take the recently deceased and put it to the side. I reread the last line and top it off,
” words echo through me and I can’t help thinking her thoughts as we look into the woods.”
I stop after I finish the line and read it out loud. It looks different. The ink, yeah, ” words ” looks like two different words, but my writing looks different. It doesn’t look like my handwriting. It doesn’t look like I mean what I’m writing. This pen sucks. I try jotting down a couple more lines but every word is wrapped in the shittiness of the pen. The lines come out forced, and like the inside of the pen, hollow. I throw a line over the past few sentences and study the uncomfortable bank pen with both hands. The pen unwinds from the click and clip and reveals a still full refill, cap nut, and spring that limps out from the back. I take it all and throw it into the trash, individually.
There’s nothing left to do but turn on the computer and type it out. Not that I mind, I just like typing finished stories. I like the feeling of writing out each letter; it’s the closest I get to creating anything visually pleasant. I like seeing the errors on the pad; they can usually make something, even a little poem. The backspace is too convenient, it’s too easy to erase the error and replace it with something new. Doesn’t give me the means to look back and try to create from the left out. I like to try and find inspiration there.
It’s my only option now though, so I turn it on without hesitation and immediately open notepad. I get down the story I had, making some minor changes to sentences as I go. I get to where I left disgusted and continue from there. Things immediately seem better, more comfortable for me. I keep going, writing whatever comes out and not bothering to really look back at it. It’s short so I can just read the whole thing when I’m done.
I finish in about the time it took me to find the diseased pen, and scroll up. Satisfied, I save it and figure I can revise some tomorrow. I take the pen killed in action and place it into the pen holder where other emptied souls rest. The story’s over, finished without the pen. I guess I could write more on the computer; it’s quicker and cheaper. Maybe I can learn to just type without hitting backspace. I fold the notebook back, keeping the last page I used on top, uncovered. Turn off the computer, close it, grab my phone, and set a reminder:
BUY MORE PENS