Tools of my trade


Recently I went to the office supply store although I didn’t need anything. But I shop there the way other people shop for clothes. It’s a silly addiction but comforting and legal. It reminds me of how far I’ve come since the days of my first computer and printer. I was available to help struggling college students in the Writing Lab in the days of floppy disks and huge, noisy printers. Maybe that experience led to my hunger for paper and ink, especially 8×5 inch notebooks that fit neatly into a small leather slipcase with a couple or three pens and a few business cards. I don’t need the cards, but there’s a slot for them so I fill it.

I collect notebooks and pens the way other people collect recipes or fast cars. Given their portability, I can write anywhere, most often in a coffee shop or library. One downside is that although I plan to glean filled notebooks, I rarely do. They stack up in the closet until I finally convince myself that they belong in the recycle bin like mismatched socks. And as I write today, I am fighting the urge to retire the current one not quite filled and moving on to a new red one on my office shelf, impatiently waiting its turn. And it will come. There is a short distance from my brain to those lined pages. Tactile magic? I hear it calling me.


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