Michael's Musings

This time, it’s personal.

You’ve all seen the movie. Heck, a hundred movies. Killer on the loose. The law on his tail. One cop, getting closer and closer. In turn, the killer gets closer to him. Someone the cop cares about gets hurt. Now, it’s more than law enforcement; it’s personal.

I bring all this up because I realized today that I am living with a serial killer — my dog. Her prey? My pens. She loves the feel of torn plastic poking her gums, the little splashes of ballpoint blood on her paws and the carpet. She’s patient, my Lucy. Methodical. She might leave a pen alone for days, weeks…until one morning, when it’s hanging out by its lonesome — on my desk, let’s say, or on the coffee table — and she gets that familiar urge.

Until today, she’d mostly limited herself to the slaying of a few Bics, a hotel pen here and there, and once, a Sharpie of no particular consequence. But today, it got personal. Because she obliterated a pen that was easily among my top three favorites. It was a reliable utensil, supple, easy to employ for long stretches of prose without cramping. I got it in California, at a winery near the setting of my next book. It had written many words, and crossed out a great deal more — and had much ink left in it.

I haven’t been this bummed about a destroyed object since the unfortunate suicide of my 61C travel coffee mug (it sneaked up on the roof of my car one morning, then leaped to its death at a stop sign).

Still, there is hope. Shortly after my Gray Wolf Cellars pen was killed, I caught and reprimanded the murderer, and she seems to be showing great remorse for her crime.

"I am so sorry for eating your pen."

There will be a viewing at the silver trash can on my filing cabinet, followed by burial Friday morning, presumably at the town dump.

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