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Friday, June 03, 2005

Write No More

IScriptSm.jpg FIND MYSELF SADLY unable to comply most days with Mr. Pierce's commandment to Post Every Day. I suppose I ought to implement my own version of "Twenty Minutes With Tony", an attractive idea with a sound to it that rings of little children sat about his knee, listening to Tony's Jackanory of the day? Are you ready? Then I'll begin...

But blogging does not pay the bills, does not put food upon the table, does not buy my pretty girls a nice new frock nor my Goddess, bless her, a new pair of Manolos. Nor should it. I have work to do: paying work. I've been chasing the same bug down a rat hole since last Thursday, but - My - it's a cunning little bugger who hides itself well, reveals itself only in shadow when the moon is just so. All of my powers of concentration are consumed by it. I cannot write my blog, because there is no room for anything else in my head. Any post I tried to write would be poisoned by the hunt, contaminated by its delicately-scented spoor. It is a feminine bug, my nose is telling me. It is a she.

I like to write: by which I mean I enjoy the act of writing - the drawing of a pen across a page of crisp paper - but everyday opportunities for doing so are diminishing in these times of ubiquitous keyboards. Besides... I can't seem to find any ink? Not at Vons. Not at Pavillions - same store, with pretensions. Not at Target. Maybe Staples but not last time I looked. Where does America horde its cartridges of ink?
I know where it is. I think I know where it is.

I am, of course, ridiculously fussy about writing implements - all part and parcel of being obsessively compulsive in a small twitch kind of way. Little things, trivial things, bother me deeply. The width and texture of the barrel, the feel of the pen must be just right; the point or nib, finest, that the line be sharp; and ink - it must be ink, or at the very least must look like ink and run like ink, not wax. Black is always to be preferred over blue, tolerable only at midnight.
But see? She hides, she diverts like a grand magician securing and palming two silver coins.

There is a rightness, a harmony, to the heft of a good pen; a sense that All is well. Contrast this with the stress - very real to me - induced by the wrongness of a bic or biro. I can't write with that? I just can't.
What the hell would she be doing in there? Where are the strings, leading in and leading out, where are the racks, the pinions, the levers, the pulleys? How can she do that from there?

For everyday scribbling and doodling - my prime occupation at meetings - for these I use uni-balls, which I keep to myself in a small tin dollar-bill pencil box, one that I pinched from my kids. They, bastards, are forever stealing its contents. My pens: Beardie's Pens. These are precise, and neat, very neat, perfect for southpaw printing - precision and neatness being two things that every left-handed child can only dream about in the smudge of school. We lefties, we quantum particles who cannot write joined-up and neatly, not at the same time. Throw cursèd cursive to the seven seas and copperplated script be damned: We'll print! We cannot read your joined-up writing either. How many times I've called her from the store: What does that say next to "Pepsi"?
Clever clever clever. Could that be you right there? To think that some idiot, who cannot join two lines of code together, too lazy too to ever drop a comment, to think that such a bozon as that contrived a beauty such as you? I don't believe it. You need a license to own a dog, you know, but they'll let any dozy fwit with two fingers write a bug. There oughta be a law...

Other times, for pleasures long denied, I write with an ink pen, a Parker, with a fine italicised nib. How can that be, you ask, when everyone knows left-handers can not write italics? Turn the paper turn the pen, and draw the letters; straight and tall and monkish. Used to keep a journal, of work in progress, grand designs, victories and defeats and wastes of time. Wrote it all down because I smoke. Back in the day, long long ago, when the Fascists hadn't quite hit their stride, banished to a single room with a fan and an open window. How can I work without smoke? Hard hard times - we who smoked, we who worked harder than all the others combined - exiled from our dusky keyboards to a single solitary dusty room. How to smoke without working? Almost as difficult. Write.

Smocrum Scriptorium.
How do I fix you? I think I'l try this. TweakBuildLoadRun Test. Again, Test. Once more, Test. Aah dammit, did that work? Is it working now? Did I fix it?

Probably not.

Sitting alone but for a cup of tea and a pack of smokes, Write, by God: Write, Design, Architect, Contrive, Confuse. Write in your monkish journal medieval script your Leonardo heliocopters, your mapa mundi. Write until the useless gormless whiney prats force the smokers OUTSIDE, Not there! Not at those tables! We might want to eat there one day! So out beyond tables, out away from rain-bouncing awnings, out into the rear car park where the wind bites and blows-out your matches. Out and away from us, we moaning-minnie option counters. No place to write out there in the cold; nor here in the bright. One can trace the decline of western civilization to the rise of the No-Smoking führers. What have their health-conscious gym-posing speed-walking bran-fed sandal-socked nanny-livered loud-mouthed fannypacks ever given us? An internet bubble.
Dammit I don't understand it. I don't understand how that worked but it did. I don't understand how it ever worked before?

I write no more for lack of a sunshaded table and ink. I'd buy me a digital pen if I could, but I'd have to 'splain it to Lucy and they're not exactly cheap? But look you, see what Vit can do with one? One day, one dull-bored day when I've nothing to do and nowhere to go and a dab of the green coddling my pocket? Yeah, maybe then. I'd like that. Then I could illuminate I could?
No. No that wasn't it. Thought not. I hatebugs like this.


Blogger Whisky Prajer said...

Pens make all the difference in the world. If blogs ever harnessed the power of the scrawled word, the blogosphere would really explode.

My father in law showed me his fountain pen the other day. I admired it, scrawled my sig with it, gazed fondly upon it ... at which point he snatched it from my hand. He could tell by the look in my eye exactly where my terrible train of thought was headed. Two generous splashes of Dalwhinnie later, and I was once again in my typically genial mood.

2:10 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

Oh, but sometimes I yearn to drink whisky again. But I promised I wouldn't. Smoke, pen, a clear page on a burnished wooden desk. And a glass of old George & J.G. Smith's Glenlivet.

I'm glad to learn I'm not alone.

2:39 PM  
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12:33 AM  

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