Lost (Pen) Weekend

As I entered this weekend I realized that I had somehow managed to lose my favorite pen.

You know, the kind of pen that feels good in your hand and when writing applies a smooth flow of ink on the paper. With it, your words appear crisp, alert, full of drama and life and passion, expressing exactly how you think and feel.

stolenpens1_262With this pen you could, perhaps, write like Hemingway, or Steinbeck, or London, or Hardy, or Alcott, or Bronte (either one), or Twain. With this pen, who knows? You could even write a Pulitzer Prize winner, or perhaps a Nobel Prize winner. The sky's the limit! But alas, the pen is gone, lost, misplaced, perhaps stolen(!), and your aspirations disappear along with it.

It wasn't an expensive pen. In fact, I think I picked it up free as a bank giveaway. But there was something about it. Something magical. Something almost spiritual. We were linked - human and pen - linked like we were meant to work together: my mind transmitting thoughts down my arm, into my fingers, thus manipulating the singular plastic tool like a painter with a brush covering a canvas with vibrant color. Whether a simple note at work, or a quick poem, or the beginning of a blog, or some idea forming the beginnings of an article or a short story, this pen and I were a team. It seemed like its reservoir of ink would never fail me, as if it were bottomless, holding an unfathomable universe of words, its depths never to be plumbed. But alas, the pen is gone. And with it, the magic.

I searched and searched. I searched my shirt pockets. My briefcase. My desk drawers. Kitchen drawers. The refrigerator. The freezer. The dishwasher. The bathtub. The washing machine. The dryer. The hearth. The kettle. Behind the television. Under the television. On top of the television. Inside the television (which wasn't easy). In the car. The glove compartment. Under the seats. In the trunk. Under the hood. The gas tank. The fuel pump. The oil filer. In the front yard. The backyard. The neighbor's yard. The neighbor's shirt pockets. The neighbor's briefcase. The neighbor's desk drawers ... nothing!

stolenpens2_313So here I sit upon a Sunday evening, alone, penless, without pen, sans stylo, nada pluma, penna disappearia, no friggin' pen! Pen-wise, it has been a "lost" weekend. A weekend of empty diction. A weekend without written words. A weekend devoid of literary description. A big goose egg in the ol' word department.

Some may say that my lost pen weekend is merely a metaphor for my recent lack of literary output. Symbolic evidence of an apparent writer's block. A simile for what Tchaikovsky used to describe as being "played out" - having nothing left to compose, nothing left to say, creatively done, finished, kaput. To all that I say, nuts! I've lost my damn pen, that's all there is to it!! No metaphors need apply!

Someday soon, I am sure, I will hold again a favorite pen in my hand and will write again in flowing fashion. Until that day I will dream wordy thoughts, and will jot down whatever words may come to me with a sturdy No. 2 pencil. You know, the kind with a big pink eraser attached to the end -- just like back in school!

Meanwhile, I can't help but wonder ... did I check my neighbor's refrigerator?

Jack Sheedy

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