Pens and Paper

Last autumn, my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas. There were the obvious things, those I can never have enough of — certain books (that I will read; understand, it’s just a matter of place in the queue… and the queue never in its meaning must end, never ends), another Arsenal shirt of course (the ’17-’18 alts are really badass), but otherwise I really couldn’t think of a thing I actually wanted. An end to inequality, universal healthcare, free education, an end to wars we never should have begun to fight? A boyfriend? Hope?

One does not ask for those things, my Protestant superego responds; they are granted. To whom? I dare to ask. Not your lot, I’m told… take a drag, toss it in a mucky ditch brimming with seventies’ filth — the burnt ends of toasted times, of garret-grey hypnotic crimes, all to pass, a-ha, at last, a new day with brighter clothes. Strike a garish pose; the sores still bleed. But still, “Lad? What do you want for Christmas?”

Something simple, then. I want pens — black — and some small notebooks, the kind you can squeeze in a jackets’ inner pocket, if necessary.

Mother: Pens? You want pens?

Me: Yes’m. I’ve a penchant for losing them, so —

Mother (paraphrasing): I sent you to bloody **mouth, and you want bloody-fucking pens?

(^Paraphrasing!) Me: Yes, ma’am.

Christmas morning comes; even the cat is happy with the toy he doesn’t quite know what to do to or with. My sister’s husband is happy, can’t wait to go shooting sometime in the next few days. For her, some fitness equipment that was de rigueur in October, but electric blue was so then. But she smiles, we smile, we make plans to go to The Last Jedi. My brother-in-law makes a Carrie Grant joke he adapted from Buzzfeed that he and I and that guy laugh at, but at which my sister turns up a phrase, mother smiling with an oubliette smile, my father not quite there, but maybe later.

For me: an Arsenal shirt, some books. To the stockings, the fattening finalé, where the pecan and almond mixes, the city-filled tubs of cheddar and caramel popcorn await our moaning molars. Ah yes, there —

I find six pads of college-ruled white paper and six premium pens of black ink, 1mm tip with which to write upon. And write upon them I shall. Alleluia.

~ by Benji on January 27, 2018.

2 Responses to “Pens and Paper”

  1. Reblogged this on Petchary's Blog and commented:
    Here’s another blog that I follow… although we mostly tweet each other on a daily basis. We regard each other as dear “Twitter friends,” who hope to meet in “real life” one day. He is extremely brainy, reads voraciously, has a cat and is an Arsenal (and Ozil) fan. I can only relate to the Arsenal part, quite frankly; I am not as well read as he is. But somehow, he puts up with me… Sending love to B, via my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I came to your blog through Emma (Petchary, who I have met in person when I visited Jamaica from Canada a few years ago – she’s more lovely in person). You sound like my son in relation to Christmas presents, he has always said “I don’t need anything”. As a mom, it drives me crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

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