Small minds think alike.
This was what I told someone in a past life after we happened to express the same idea at the same time.
The person wasn’t amused.
And I can’t blame her.
She was intellectually — and perhaps even morally — superior.
After all, it was easy being ahead of me in the brains and ethics departments.
I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. And since I make stuff up and crack jokes, I’m always singled out to be the scapegoat whenever any kind of trouble arises.
In the meantime, this person excelled in, among others, formulating correspondence that requested the recipient to explain his/her supposedly questionable behavior that took place on a day everyone else has forgotten.
In various past lives, I have received my share of these love letters, asking to clarify and address certain actions I have undertaken.
Fortunately, I have been able to resolve these questions, with the help of my charm and good looks.
Anyway, I have been prompted to recount the anecdote because I received email from University of the Philippines English Professor and friend Paolo Manalo.
After failing to buy a Kindle (negotiations with the seller fell apart), he decided to get himself a Lamy 2000 fountain pen a few days before I bought mine, he told me in an email message sent on Good Friday.
He later learned I also had the same pen after reading — Maestro, music please — this blog. [See: The Anti-Bling]
“I thought I’d regret” buying the pen, he said in the same email. “No, this is a good pen and I’m glad I didn’t get the Kindle.”**
“I write more and I recall the good times when I wrote with a fountain pen. I need something to slow me down and to keep me focussed on the writing.”
Paolo had it right on the money.
I felt the same way ever since I got the Lamy 2000.
Does this mean that Paolo, a Palanca Award-winning, foreign-educated poet, and myself, a beer-drinking but nevertheless good-looking ragamuffin, think alike? Does this mean that we both have small minds? Does this mean that I could have a Palanca Award too, if ever I get to finish the novel I’m writing which is entitled The Great Philippine Jungle Energy Cafe?
I don’t know and I don’t intend to find out.
What I do know is that writing stuff by hand, however slow and deliberate, requires another accessory — the appropriate notebook.
For my needs and budget, I have settled on a Chinese-made, Green Apple-branded Reporter Notebook, which I’ve used to scribble notes for a draft of this blog entry.
Sold at National Bookstore for P259.00, the notebook — especially the black-colored ones — are now in short supply.
How do I know this?
My spare time nowadays is spent scouring National Bookstore branches all over the city for this notebook.
And I have been successful in only buying two so far because stocks have run out.
But then again, I’m not that worried.
I still have the Moleskine Berlin City Notebook that Alan Robles gave me as a present recently. [See: Alan Robles, Moleskine Berlin Notebook]
Except that I promised myself to only use that once I set foot on that city, the location of the Bauhaus Museum, which sells items inspired by the art movement, including the Lamy 2000.
Hope that doesn’t take too long.
I’ve been longing to say “I am a jelly donut” in German for years. [See: I am a Jelly Donut]
*From the Give Credit Where It Is Due Dept. The Writing Dodge was a phrase I first read in Coming to Terms, a collection of columns of William Safire for the New York Times. [See: William Safire]
**Kindle and Lamy 2000 ownership is not mutually exclusive. Come on, Prof. Manalo. [See: Five reasons why Filipinos should get Kindle 3]