If I Had a Pencil


           “Do you have a pencil?” my Dad asked, as he prepared to hang a picture on the wall.           

           That shouldn’t be an unusual question.  And it shouldn’t be difficult to gratify.          

            “…A normal pencil?” he added.          

            Ah, that’s where it gets tricky.  As I am an artist, I have a wide array of pencils at my disposal.  I gotcher wide lead colored pencils, I gotcher fine lead colored pencils.  I gotcher erasable colored pencils, watercolor pencils, oil-based pencils, metallic pencils, charcoal pencils, soft lead graphite pencils, mechanical pencils…but normally, not a plain yellow shaft in sight.

            I say normally, because—miracle of miracles—I had one writing pencil on my desk, for that very purpose.  Which is, writing.  I put it there about two months ago—before that, a plain pencil was a rare sight among my possessions.

             I don’t especially know why—I’ve never had a pencil handy, except when I collected ones with pretty designs on them and had them proudly displayed on my desk.  But those had never seen a sharpener.

             A half hour later, my sister asked: “Do you have a piece of paper?”


           I got paper. I gotcher Vellum Bristol board, I gotcher Smooth Bristol board, I gotcher card stock, black Artagain, blue paper, red paper, yellow paper, green paper, earth tone paper, illustration board, acid free blank note cards…envelopes…          

           “What are you laughing about?”

            I was actually laughing about the irony of those two questions on the heels of each other—ironic, because in the past, a plain piece of paper on my desk was as rare an item as the pencil to write on it.  I just always had art materials around, I guess—if it wasn’t acid-free, I didn’t want it near me, because I knew I’d be tempted to draw on it. And I’m a big one for archival longevity.   Luckily for my sister’s sake, though, I did have plain paper on hand at the time.  Four whole pieces of it.  If I wasn’t selling my art on eBay, I wouldn’t even have that—they’re the remnants of packing slips I printed up.

           I’ve been an artist all my days, and a writer for most of them, as well; but I’ve never had a plain piece of note paper and a pencil where I can get at them.

              Did you say pens?

           I’ve got pens.  I gotcher acid free waterproof black ink pens, .20 millimeter, .25 millimeter, .35  millimeter, .45 millimeter, brush tip…I gotcher blue ink, silver ink, gold ink…

Published in: on April 23, 2007 at 2:38 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. for some reason, i find this amusing.

  2. Ah, good…my work here is finished. :);)

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