Yesterday I went to see a man about a pen.
Turned out to be two pens: it could have been more, but I restrained myself.
If you know me, you know I’m a pen junkie. I have more fountain pens, and more bottles of ink, than any writer needs — even a writer who does most of her first-draft writing in longhand because her internal editor can’t read, and therefore can’t mess with, her barely legible handwriting.
However, being a cautious type, I don’t carry fountain pens around in my pocket, carry-all, or backpack. Not that any of my pens leak, but there’s always a chance . . . There’s also the possibility that a pen might run dry on the road, and no way am I going to tote a bottle of ink around with me.
Besides, which one(s) would I take with, and which would I leave at home?
So I pack a ballpoint or two. For a long time generic disposables were good enough, but then a Pelikan fountain pen I wanted — the one at far right in the photo above — came bundled with a matching ballpoint. I was hooked.
Then, earlier this year, I left it behind. Not for the first time, but this time I didn’t remember where and it hasn’t managed to find its way home. I went back to generic disposables, but it wasn’t the same. I browsed the Fahrney’s Pen catalogue, pen porn at its finest, but nothing caught my eye. (Visiting the Fahrney’s website just now, however, an “Inkvent Calendar” caught my eye immediately. OMG! An Advent calendar in which each day’s little door conceals a mini-bottle of high-class ink! The price tag, however, is $90. If you’re hankering to buy me a present for Christmas, New Year’s, Tam’s birthday [March], or my birthday [June], or just for the hell of it . . .)
Time passed. Earlier this fall, I think in a Facebook thread, I became aware of a Vineyard guy who makes pens. If you know the Vineyard, you can probably guess that Bill Giordano is in the restaurant business; he makes pens as a hobby, doesn’t sell through any Vineyard shop, maintains only a barebones presence on Etsy, but does sell at Edgartown’s Christmas craft fair in December. I made contact and learned (1) that he makes ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pens, all hand-turned and all able to use commercial refills; and (2) that he’s willing to travel.
I didn’t want to wait till December. We played email tag for a while, and finally . . .
Yesterday I went to see a man about a pen, at the Black Dog Café in Vineyard Haven.
Maybe I should have been anxious. What if I didn’t recognize the guy? What if none of his wares said I’m the one?
No problem on either count. Pens are not large, so Bill could bring considerable inventory to the table (literally). I was wowed. He showed me how the mechanisms worked. I picked two, one rollerball and one ballpoint. My only regret is that I didn’t go for one of his wood pens, which make gorgeous use of the wood grain and are unlike anything else in my collection. So I might make the Edgartown Christmas craft fair after all . . .