The Papermate Compulsion
I could have sworn I posted this before (at some point, years ago). Alas, wasn’t able to track anything down so… here goes again.
I latched onto a favorite pencil late in high school, and later in college: the Paper Mate Sharpwriter. I loved the way it felt on paper, more than any other mechanical pencil I’ve used.
On top of that, I got into the habit of trying to twirl pencils while I was thinking or listening to someone lecture. And I liked how smooth the pencil felt.
One catch though: the pencils came with this horrible protrusion that lets you affix them to shirt pockets I guess? I ended up doing this rather insane/obsessive thing: I’d break the thing off. Then I’d take a pair of pliers and rip off as much as I could. Then I’d take a nail file, and file the area smooth.
This does not feel like a normal thing for a high school kid to do.
But this became a kind of ritual. And made a great pencil even better to me, as it no longer felt like a bumpy thing that got in the way of my twirling.
I’m getting a small notebook to carry with me, for our upcoming trip. And as part of that, I wanted a few pencils. A few, obsessively modified and smoothed pencils.
Side note: I’m super sad I haven’t been able to locate the custom laser-etched Moleskin notebook I got in Amsterdam, about six years ago.