I was walking back to my office from the data center on a Friday afternoon. As I crossed the last corner, I noticed a pen on the ground. I risked an extra two seconds as I crossed, bent down, and picked it up. It was a Uniball Vision rollerball. It had no scratches on it, and seemed full of ink. Pretty much, it looked like a brand new pen that had fallen.
The right guy happened by. Rather than letting it get knocked around the mean streets of the ‘Nati, I decided to give it a home.
While I’ve seen these pens around, I don’t think I’ve ever actually owned one. The one I found was a fine point green–a quirky choice, which made me wonder who had it, and why they wanted green. Was it for some functional purpose, to color code something? Or is it simply a quirky nonconformist act of someone living in an otherwise stiff corporate culture–someone after my own heart? When I get a vintage pen, I often wonder about who had this pen before me. Whose hands did it pass through. How many events did it mark, singing mortgages, report cards, and letters. I like to think every pen can tell a story, be it literally, like Neil Gaiman’s Lamy 2000, history made with Douglas MacArthur’s Parker Duofold, or just a disposable pen, a tool to help someone get through their day.
When I got home, I tucked the pen into the pocket of my “Coat of Awesome,” next to a Field Notes memo book. We went out, and my daughter spent some quality time doodling with it.
The ink is a little bluer than I like for a green pen–it seems artificial relative to the green fountain pen inks I use. However, it balances nice, and the grip is comfortable. We passed it around the table and played with it, waiting for a meal.
Though I will likely favor my other pens, I know that it has a better chance to tell more stories in my house, rather than on Fourth Street. Already, it told a story about a butterflies and bicycles.