Robots Have Feelings

When I needed to prove to myself that I was capable of owning a fountain pen, I picked up a cheap technical liner with replaceable nibs and cartridges, and ordered myself not to lose or break it for a year. It survived multiple backpacking trips and dayhikes, daily bicycle commuting, and an international flight without great mishap. Once, I loaned it to someone who was ham-fisted enough to split the brittle plastic nib, but those were easy enough to replace. When the year was up, I allowed myself to fall in love with a Lamy Studio.

It's the Lamy that's defied death but continues to bring trouble. I've blown countless nibs from carelessness, events from simple butterfingering to leaving it in a classroom for days and recovering it from someone who did not understand that fountain pens should contact the paper with a very specific angle and pressure.

After one bad month claimed every single fountain pen I owned in a month, I bought a three-pack of plastic clicky-pens as punishment. For months, I dealt with greasy clots and hand cramps, until the Lamy turned up through mysterious circumstances. I retired it to desk-use only and forbade myself from buying replacement fountain pens; two others came into my possession through other mysterious circumstances. I broke one in the process of reconditioning, and the second I've allowed as a carry pen.

I declared my Lamy-carrying ban concluded after I no longer felt bad about it, and tucked it into my shirt pocket on my way to class. It took no more than three minutes before an irresponsibly enthusiastic bounding up a flight of outdoor steps ejected the pen from my shirt, sending it flying through the air until it crashed into the concrete.

It still writes, but not well. Maybe I'll buy a new nib.

20 March 2014 19:14

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