Fountain Pen Addiction? Here, take some Ink!
I am an addict and my dope is fountain pens. I talk to Montblancs. I caress Benus. I whisper complements to Soenneckens. I raise toasts to Swans. My days are obsessively, compulsively, disorderly strung around fountain pens and at night, I either have happy dreams about them or have nightmares that break me up in cold sweats. My daily fix? You guessed it, fountain pens, of all shapes, sizes, origins and makes – colour, creed, sex, religion, no bar.
I ink, therefore I pen. I mean, I am best suited to talk addiction here, because of my history of substance abuse disorder. And to make things easy for all of you with a pen in the wrong place, let me be as clinically specific as possible.
- There is always a beginning, like Eve offering Adam the apple – a fountain pen in our case, one that we got as a gift or was bought as something for school work, as a child. We start, the addiction that is, either out of curiosity, or because our friends were doing it – peer pressure and other such mundane stuff, you know. Or because of the lack of development in the prefrontal cortex, which manages decision-making and controlling impulses. Its all in the head buddy, like that dreaded three letter word!
- We move quickly into the next stage, when enamoured by the romance of seeing ink dry on paper, we throw away those God forsaken ball-point pens and start associating writing with Fountain pens. It is also the stage when we start using more than one pen to address our chores. Slowly we begin to hate the prospect of keying in stuff, preferring to write instead.
- Regular use. This is when we realise the need to match the colour of our pen’s barrel and the ink with our outfit. Yes, this is also the time when we start having pretensions of calling ourselves “serious collectors” and cringe when people term us as a lowly hobbyist.
- Problem / Risky Use. Ah, this is the deal breaking stage. This is when we “normally” spend entire meetings oblivious to the hum in the background as we focus, completely, on the doodles we make, the pleasure of just having the pen in hand becoming all encompassing. Oh yes, our work suffers. Relationships begin to dry up and life skips beats. Nothing, we feel, that can’t be fixed by a little tweaking of the nibs.
- Phew. If we have made it this far it means that we need more and more fountain pens to get the same level of “high”. Going without a fountain pen elicits a withdrawal symptom. And the craving – the mental, psychological dependence on Fountain pens become unbearable. We just can’t live without having one in the hand. Or buying one. Or reading about one. Or inking one.
- Substance Use Disorder. We know (do we, really?) we are a gone case when, we ‘cannot face life’ without having the reassurance of having the fountain pen in hand / pocket / purse / bullet-journal. We cannot control our urge and however much we try, we get sucked into a dark inky void, as if being pushed into a barrel by a giant eyedropper.
We continue to use fountain pens despite the harm that comes due to our refusal to use electronic word processing with all its attending benefits. Ha, ha, beat that!
We lie about our obsessive buying of Pens (that includes inks and notebooks and cases and accessories), especially about how many we are buying, how often, even to our own selves. And yes, we are in a perpetual state of self-denial, when it comes of accepting the fact that our hobby is now a full-blown “disease”.
We avoid friends and family. Who wants to go out for a drink and listen to all those inane things, when one can spend a chilled-out evening with the Pelikans? Or reading up on the effect of fountain pen making during World War II? Or to simply admire those doodles we scribbled at 4 in the morning last week?
We have given up activities we used to enjoy. Oh yes, like watching cricket and stalking Pamela Anderson or counting the bloopers of the politician we love to hate.
We cannot recognize the problems with our behaviour or with our inter-personal relationships.
Hell, this is becoming too much, even by my standards. How can something as beautiful as a fountain pen be even considered as a cause for destroying interpersonal relationships? A whole lot of bunkum, that!
“Here, let me write it down for you, in cursive. You will love the sheen of the Iroshizuku Red Momji – it has a way doing the ballet on the Nanami Seven Seas Tamoe River paper Notebook, when written on, especially by a Namiki Emperor Goldfish! Oh sorry, Japan is the flavour of this month, we can talk Onoto nearer to Christmas”?