The pen is the misericorde
I should have learned a lesson today: a pen that I essentially found from a garbage sale was given to me for free, and yet I was able to use it until its last drop. It was a cheap advertising Bic pen that someone must have thrown along the stuff that he or she no longer wanted that it ended up in a box full of toys. Because I was looking for vintage video games, I rummaged thoroughly through the smorgasbord of toys and managed to pick that pen up. The cashier gave the pen to me for free because I bought a dated handheld that miraculously still worked.
I started using the pen on the last week of December last year, and continued to use it through the beginning of my Surgery rotation. Funnily enough, it blazed through all of the paperwork I had to write with nary a loss in step: despite me dropping it a few times, it never stopped writing with its clear black ink. When I actually looked at the ink that remained in it a few days ago, I was actually surprised that it was near empty. Nevertheless, I kept using it because I wanted to see how long it would actually keep on writing.
While I was writing a discharge summary of a patient today, it abruptly gave out. When I once again looked at the pen’s ink cartridge, there was absolutely nothing left. I had emptied it to its final drop of ink.
I didn’t pay anything for the pen, too. I really shouldn’t complain about the pens I’ve bought online, however, as nearly all of them have worked until their last drop as well, although they cost a lot more.
‘A cheap pen writes as well as an expensive one,’ a good friend of mine said. What happened today just proved her statement true. I don’t think I spend for ballpoint pens just for the sake of their writing, however. Neither do I think I purchase them because I wish to be stylish. It’s just that I like having artifacts of the past because these represent history.
I do recognize I should move on to other things but vintage pens are relatively inexpensive especially when one compares it to other historical exempla, so I keep on purchasing them. Today, however, I realized that I should slow down with those. There’s another Scripto pen that I may or may not win in an auction but as its combined shipping and handling won’t cost me much I just hazarded to place a bid on it anyway.
Ultimately, passions usually don’t sit well with pragmatism, unless it’s one’s passion to be pragmatic. Passions usually connote an overflow of strong emotion, which in and of itself runs contrast to the corollary of pragmatism, as I believe it is closely related with the principle of self-control. So I’ll probably still purchase pens, but I’ll probably think twice next time. (I just bought and paid for a light violet highlighter, which would honestly help me with my readings. At least it’s not another ballpoint pen, although I may have to pay for something like that five days from now.)