The Pen of Good Fortune (tf)

My favorite pen is one my kids got me in some tacky hotel gift shop somewhere. It’s a faux-wood thing that says “Daddy” on it and when my oldest told me how much it cost my brain went blank for a few seconds and my face twitched like my mouth was being worked by a puppeteer in the ceiling. But I didn’t want to seem like I was being ungrateful, especially since the other “gifts” they brought home cost even more. I remember one of them was a snow-globe that smashed inside the suitcase and soaked all my clothes and the other was a painted rock with the resort name on it (If we would stop buying painted rocks in gift shops I’m sure they’d stop selling them….but….well….never mind).

When something becomes my favorite I use it all the time. My old favorite pen was one I could not get refills for…not even at the place I bought it. They told me I’d have to buy another pen even though I saw refills in a half-opened drawer behind the lady at the register. She told me said refills were not for “individual sale”. I responded with something to do with my pen and her backside and she got sore. So you can see I was ripe for a new favorite pen.

I carry it with me all the time…..along with a pocket-sized marble notebook. They sit in the left leg pocket of the cargo pants that I wear all the time. My cell phone goes in the right leg pocket (put stuff in your regular cargo-pants pockets and it just rolls out when you sit down. Worst design ever). I’ve always got my phone on vibrate because the ring is annoying and I don’t know how to change it, so I miss every call I get. When it vibrates I’m never sure if somebody is calling me or if I’ve just got an itch on my leg.

I carry the notebook to jot down random observations. Song lyrics. Ideas f or the new play I keep promising myself is right around the corner. Reminders to do something that I’ll never do but feel better knowing that I’m reminding myself to do anyway. I used to use those yellow legal pads, but people looked at me funny furiously jotting things down in a full-sized legal pad. I looked like a government informant. Stevens is the one who turned me on to a small pocket-sized notebook. But he writes in his using one of those small nubby pencils they give you to keep score on golf courses. It always looks like he’s adding up numbers. When I tried to get him to use a pen he  looked at me like I was crazy….even though he’s the one requires a specific brand/type of small notebook….the kind that flip open from the top and have some bend-proof cover that he can only find at Borders. If the place ever closes he may never write again. I use the small marble covered ones ’cause you can get them at the dollar store in packs of 3 for a buck. One of the only things left in the dollar store that still costs a dollar. Don’t get me started on that.

My favorite pen takes regular Cross refills that I’ve already loaded up on….so I’m good for years as long as I don’t lose it or buy defective cargo pants. It fits perfectly in my hand….and it reminds me of my favorite 2 persons in this world. My two girls. I don’t even think about what they paid for it anymore.

Well, not often anyway. It’s the thought that counts, and I’m never happier than when my girls are thinking of me.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on February 13, 2011.

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