Pen Lust


Pen Lust

*Creative Writing*

The sentiment that I hold for writing instruments has been described as both freakishly odd and strangely provocative.  I collect them the way newly retired women in white Capri’s and straw sun visors collect sea-shells for future bathroom craft projects.  In high school I carried a purple vinyl shoulder bag that was never more than three inches from my body.  Any unauthorized snoop-and-borrowing incidents resulted in a rapid breakdown of communication, usually resulting in nose snubbing and harsh words.  Sadly, a five year friendship dissolved like Alka-Seltzer in a bottle of Coca- Cola because of this very violation.  I gave her every opportunity to make things right.

“Were you in my bag?”

“No.”

“Then why is it on the left side of my chair?  When I left, it was on the right side.”

“How should I know?!”

“You should know because you’re the only one sitting here.  And last week I saw you sneaking around my locker like a Navy Seal because you KNEW my bag was in there and you’ve been trying to borrow my Jelly pen all week.”

“Whatever, man.  Seriously.  This whole thing?  With you and this bag and these pens?  It’s gonna take you down like Dingus Kong.”

“Dingus Kong?  Do you mean GHINGUS Khan?”

“Ghingus, Dingus…either way, you’re going down.  Yesterday when you walked out of typing class, Brian Ross told everyone you had names for all of your pens and at night, before you went to bed, you sang them lullabies about chick-peas and cotton balls.”

“He did not.”

“Oh yes.  He did.”

“When?!”

“In typing class!”

“I hate Brian Ross.  Did anyone say anything?”

“Not really.”

“Not really? Did they laugh?”

“Yeah.  They laughed.”

“How?  How’d they laugh?”

“Oh.  Uhhh…I guess like they thought you might need to be in a special school?”

It was at this moment that the proverbial Alka Seltzer tablet was taken out of its paper packet.

“And what did YOU say?”

“I said that your Dad was a preacher and you weren’t allowed to wear pants.”

I could feel a hairline crack begin to spider its way through the foundation of our friendship.

“I hate you.”

“No you don’t.  You need a ride home.”

“I can get someone else to drive me.  You’re not the only person on the planet Rachel.”

“No.  But I’m the only person here willing to be seen on the outside with you.”

I shook my head as if to shake loose a spider web stuck to my nose.

“What does this have to do with you being in my bag, screwing around with my pens?” I reminded her.

“What bag??  You NEED to pay attention and take some notes or you’re gonna fail this test again.  And you KNOW Ms. Johnson is going to make you sit up front if you can’t take care of your business.”

I roll my eyes in disgust and reach for my notebook, avoiding Ms. Johnson’s stink eye.

“You wanna borrow a pen?”  Rachel is holding out a writing instrument that looks oddly familiar.

“Is that…is THAT my pen?!” I ask, incredulous.

“Yeah, but it fell out of your holy grail, so it was technically up for grabs.”

“Says who?!”  I cannot believe what I’m hearing.

I hear the authoritative voice of Ms. Johnson, asking me to please hush my mouth and pay attention.  That I was already skating around on paper thin ice.  As she’s informing me of my intellectual failings, she jabs a pen into the air with each pronounced syllable.  I recognize the pen.  A good, non-clotting pen.  I’d gotten it from Dr. Manning’s office while hopped up on laughing gas and Vicodin.

I interrupt the lecture and demand to know, “Ms. Johnson, is that my pen you have there?”

Her hand pauses just before finishing the = sign.  She turns slowly, like those prize displays on the old Wheel of Fortune.  Only uglier.

“Excuse me?”

“That’s my pen.  I got it from Dr. Manning’s office when I got that impacted molar removed.”

Ms. Johnson deliberately looked down at the pen and back up at me, her eyes narrowing into snaky slits.

“No, Ms. Angus.  This is NOT your pen.  Your friend there was kind enough to lend it to me before class started.” I notice she’s nodding toward Rachel.

I slowly sit down, my face beginning to tighten like Botox gone bad.  I see Rachel leaning towards me, mouthing words I can’t hear.

Words drowned out by the jingle ringing in my head:

“Plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a crappy friend you are and I can’t believe how you violated our trust and got all cahooty with Ms. Johnson..who, by the way, will always be single because she’s covered in cat hair and never washes her pantyhose.”

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2 Responses

  1. Was this written today or is this one of the older writings that you made reference to? This is one of my favorites…should be made into a short film.

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