I am a fountain pen addict. I know it, and I've known it for a long time. As I look back, I can trace my addiction to the day, in Vietnam, when I saw that Sheaffer fountain pen under the glass of the display case, way in the back of the PX.
Fountain pens were still common in those days, though their time of popularity was rapidly drawing to a close.
I've never wanted anything as bad as I wanted that pen, which I did not get, and the pen was no exception. Before the PX closed that night, it was mine. The Sheaffer wasn't a trophy. I don't do trophies. I became a letter writing machine, thanks to the pen.
I couldn't always count on the PX for paper and ink. While most guys wrote home asking for cookies, I asked for paper and ink. I wore that pen out and bought another one.
At the end of my time in Vietnam, I packed it away. I saw it a couple of times in the years after the war, and then I didn't see it again. I suspect that my first ex-wife sold it, along with anything else of value I left, in an attempt to salvage something for the fourteen years she had invested in the marriage.
Of course, besides the the pen, and a couple of cameras, she did get two great kids, who beget four equally great kids, who even now are siring great kids of their own. I love them all, though we seldom even pass in the night, running on different courses, in different seas, as we are. Still, I'm proud of them all, and every day take a moment to wish them well.
Still, I miss that Sheaffer pen.
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