The Fountain Pen Lover, by Marc Audet
For over a year, I have been in an intimate relationship with my fountain pen.
It started with an innocent flirtation at the office supply store. I was looking for new pens for my journaling when I spotted her in the pen section. She sported an alluring black finish and her smooth contours invited me to hold her gently. I took her home and after writing five pages in my notebook, I was smitten by her seductive flow of ink on paper.
On a good day, I hold my pen close to me with a delicate touch that is just firm enough so that she glides effortlessly and produces a script that is smooth and legible.
There are other days, however, when my words stare back from the page, indignant. Ill at ease, my fingers pressing too tightly as if I must be in control, my forearm tires from the strain. My pen reacts like an angry and slighted lover, demands immediate attention, and digs her heels into the paper, causing the ink to choke in frustration, bringing my writing to a stuttering halt.
Sometimes, my pen needs her personal space.
I take her apart and soak her gold nib in warm water to clean out the capillary that feeds the ink from the reservoir to the vent hole, and then to a slit that divides the nib into a pair of tapered tines that kiss to form the writing tip where her ink longs to meet my paper.
That springlike flexibility of her tines allows the slit to widen ever so slightly when her tip caresses the surface of the paper, allowing her ink to flow freely.
Guiding the pen across the page is like leading a lover across the floor of the ballroom; one leads and the other follows.
The pair must cooperate or else that dance during which the mind glides beyond the inner horizon of the imagination will fail to evoke a flow of words that will echo within the soul of the reader.
She has become an extension of my hand, giving voice to thoughts and feelings that linger on the edge of my awareness, yearning to be expressed.
Marc Audet lives near New Haven, Connecticut, where he is self-employed as a web application developer. Marc enjoys reading literature and history. He has traveled and lived in Canada, England, and Ireland. Over the years, he has kept journals and written personal essays about his travels. Recently, he has started to write short stories, creative nonfiction, and poetry. His work has appeared in Potato Soup Journal.