I Distract Myself With a New Pen
My new fountain pen arrived today. I said to myself the other day, "I just had a birthday. I can totally spoil myself." So I visited Sheaffer's website, because of all the fountain pens I have tried at any price, it's been the Sheaffers that are consistently a joy to write with. Smooth action, no missed strokes, good constant ink delivery. And the price ranges from "That's very nice for under a hundred bucks" all the way down to "Eight dollars? For a vintage Sheaffer? HERE IS CASH NOW GIMME."
I ended up ordering the Sheaffer Agio. I picked the black barrel with the gold-plated nib in fine point. It comes with a screw-fill piston converter, just like I like, along with two disposable cartridges I will probably forget to use because they are disposable and also in boring colors. Likewise, the "Luxury Gift Box" is lovely indeed but will probably spend its days forgotten in a drawer; I carry my fountain pens around in my Big Huge Everything I Could Possibly Need It Is My Mobile Office bookbag.
And lo, it arrived today, and it writes as smoothly as expected, and I have filled it not with boring blue but with Midnight Blue ink that I got last year at Papier Plume in the French Quarter. It is shiny. Shiny is good. Shiny keeps my mind off other things.
(Like the fact that a friend of mine broke her ankle at derby practice tonight. She's no newbie to wheels and she wasn't doing anything weird, just one moment she was up and skating and the next she was down and screaming, and it just happened and that means it could happen to anybody. No matter what you do. You can work hard to eliminate a lot of the reasons for injury, you can build up your ankle strength and get out of the habit of dragging your toe stop for balance, and all that means is when it finally happens to you it won't be because of insufficient ankle strength or bad habits. "Freak accident" is always lurking backstage waiting to pounce and there's nothing anyone can do about that.
(If I ever managed to wrap my brain around that and really think about it, I might never put skates on my feet again. But when I put skates on there is nothing in my head except how right skating feels, and that holds true even during the very first exercise we all do right after watching our friend get wheeled away into an ambulance. Seriously, I did not think about it again until we were packing up and leaving the building--and then I just about melted during the drive home. I called John up: "Can you be home when I get there? I need hugs. A lot of hugs." Because of knowing it could as easily have been me and it still could be me, it could happen Thursday at scrimmage, it could happen. Because of how helpless I felt seeing a friend in that much pain and not being able to make the pain go away. And because I felt guilty over freaking out and crying and demanding hugs and comfort, I mean, I'm not the one with the actual injury, this isn't about me, it's selfish and melodramatic of me to freak out when I'm not the one in the hospital tonight. And because oh my Gods what if that happens when I'm the only one around who can take charge what if I go to pieces instead of doing anything useful what then what then what then?! And also because--how could I just stop thinking about it? How could I just go on to the next drill as though nothing had happened? How could the world just keep turning, the clock keep ticking towards 8:30, the practice go on as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened?
(But that's what you do. And that's what our injured friend would want us to do. Keep on skating. For her. Because she can't now, and someone's gotta. And Thursday, somehow, that miracle will occur again, as it does with breathtaking regularity: Despite knowing it could happen to any one of us, we'll all put our skates on and get out on the track and play roller derby.)
So my pen arrived today, and it was perfect timing, because shiny and distracting is exactly what I need right now.
Videos of cute animals being cute would also be lovely right now.