If I Disassemble My Pilot G2
by Steve Bogdaniec
If I am in a meeting with you, and I hold up one of my Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens—the G2 being the only pen I ever use because its gel is smooth and full and because it’s easy to refill—and you notice me unscrewing it at the rubber grip near the writing end of the pen, examining the two halves, the top half with a plastic clip and a plunger that will no longer have any tension in its spring because the pen is disassembled, and the bottom half with that contains the grip and the ink cartridge of whichever color I’m using, either black, blue, or purple, and I remove the ink stick, pondering it now that it’s independent from the rest of the pen, looking first at the level of ink waiting in its reservoir, then at the tip, the metal point covered in a small glisten of staining color, dangerous yet impotent, like a bullet that is nothing without the proper gun, and you see me quickly reassemble the pen’s three components and push in the plunger, hearing a click, making the slightest extra effort to push it as far as it can go, meeting the resistance of two tiny springs, one at the top of the pen and one near the tip, me pushing on the plunger for no reason other than it will make an extra tenth of an inch of the tip jut out before I release it and the pen clicks back in place, ready to write, then you can infer that I am not enjoying our meeting, nor focusing on it terribly much.
PHOTO: The author’s many Pilot G2s.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is 100% nonfiction. I only write with Pilot G2 pens for the reasons given in this prose poem. There’s one in my pocket at all times at work (teaching, tutoring, writing) and many more within arm’s length because what if the first five G2s I reach for run out of ink? I might have to use someone else’s crappy pen—shudder. I’m not sure when the ritual began, but one day I caught myself doing this during a boring work meeting, and I realized I’d done it before. I’ve gone on doing it. I’ve always wondered if anyone has ever noticed, and imaging that conversation inspired this poem.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Bogdaniec is a writer and teacher, currently teaching at Wright College in Chicago. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous journals, most recently Eclectica Magazine, Neat, Silver Birch Press, One Sentence Poems, and Blood Lotus.