Reflections in Lead and Graphite

I look at this pencil and the first thing I say is, “It’s red.” That’s the first thing I say.

“It’s got a good eraser,” I say, and that is my second observation. “Maybe with this pencil, I can write something worth reading.”

“It feels comfortable in my fingers.” That’s the third thing I say. This is important. With a pencil in my hand, it is only right that I should feel like we match.

You take it out of my hands and turn it around in your own fingers.

You look at this pencil and the first thing you say is, “It’s broken.” That’s the first thing you say.

“Somebody’s chewed on this,” you say, and that is your second observation. “This has been in somebody’s mouth, and you’re going to write with it?”

“It’s too short. It’s been used.” That’s the third thing you say. This is important. We’ve all been cut a little short. We’ve all been used. I don’t think you notice the metaphor.

You take my pencil and throw it in the garbage.

I take it out and write this story.

View this story's 9 comments.