It was just a cheap, plastic pen. It had a click top, and it was an ugly, pastel shade of purple. But it was from my philosophy teacher, and it said so on the side of it. And the first time that I tried to use it, it didn’t write. Lots of pens in the world don’t write – it is, after all, not a perfect world – but something about the glossy word “Philosophy” printed in bold, uniform letters there just above my hand joined areas of my mind that had not previously met. A pen that doesn’t write.
Even still, even all these years later, I reel at the delicate yet powerful significance of this. Sometimes, when I’m feeling my age, I sense that that pen and I have more in common than I am prepared to admit.