When my mum had to write something important, she always brought out her fountain pen. It was black, the brand was Faber-Castell. It’s probably still around somewhere, back at the old homestead. When I learned to write myself, as a kid, I was always a little envious of that pen. Perhaps because my mum made such a big deal about it. When she bought stuff, it had to be high quality — expensive stuff. She’d rather wait, than to settle for some cheaper replacement … always took extremely good care of it, be it shoes, pens, glass or anything, to make it last almost a lifetime.
This pen was out of range for me, and besides I’m left-handed. In school, I can’t really say they tried to force me to write with my right hand … I remember vaguely, they suggested I’d try, but that didn’t work out. They never mentioned it again. I do remember the diagonally lined piece of paper we had to put underneath our writing paper, in order for us to write with the script leaning … to the right.
I always yearned for a really neat handwriting, but was never satisfied with my own. Sometimes, even later in life, I could happen to come across some nice script, and I tried to imitate it. This only caused me to lose whatever handwriting I might have had.
Up until 1995, I wrote letters … long ones, several pages … by hand. Then the Internet came into play, and now there are times I don’t even pick up a pen all day. When I do write by hand, it feels as if I suffer from atrophy in my hand — after a few lines it gets all ‘tired’.
A few of my FB friends are interested in fountain pens, and apparently there are inks nowadays that are extremely fast drying. I’ve never tried it, but it sounds promising. The way I write, I drag my whole hand in what I’ve just written … I push my hand, as opposed to right-handed people who pull their hands when they write. I really have a hard time imagining an ink drying that fast.