Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pen Review: The Generipen

Peace comes from writing in the early morning hours. The air is chilly, yet not intolerable, and the stars are twinkling brightly in the heavens. Remove a pen from the bin, retrieve a few sheets of printer paper and start scribbling. The world is removed and becomes focused upon the experience of writing. Images of the great writers of the present day come to mind, and the knowledge that one is sharing similar experiences with them. The words don't matter. The paper doesn't matter. The sensation comes with writing about the pen itself.

The generipen is the true working class pen. It doesn't have a name tattooed on its solid white barrel. It doesn't have anything more than the promise that words, hopefully good words, will eke their way onto the page. The tools of the great writers don't matter, just their words and the places to which they will guide. There is a comfort in that, a comfort in the generic pen that hurts the hand after writing for a long time, a comfort in the knowledge that the pen will always be there... right up until it runs out of ink or explodes in the hand.

Non pen enthusiasts see every other pen like they see the generipen. They will look upon the Pilot G2, the Energel, the Pilot Precise v5 and claim that it is just a pen. This is the same way that non car enthusiasts see cars - they will see color, they will see gas mileage, though they will not understand the joy of driving one. Driving the pen has no meaning, because it is utilitarian. This offering is the ultimate in generic - one expects to see the word 'PEN' put on the side, like the generics of old.

Having a solid white barrel, one will never know when the ink will run out. This is akin to not having a gas gauge in a vehicle. With that being the case, the generipen is relegated to everyday writing activities - signing checks, making personal lists, scribbling a note to a loved one. I'd love to think that the generipen will make it to other uses, like penning the greatest works of our time. It is the essence of versatility with a chewable black cap.

We take these pens for granted because they do not write as well as the name brand pens. But, the ink is a solid black, the grip is comfortable enough for several pages, and it is aerodynamic (and drummable). We take these pens for granted because they are the truly ubiquitous ones, the pens that are used when the ink runs out... and they keep going. They keep striving. Will the demand for these working class stick pens diminish? No, as long as there are writers who appreciate them.

While the average writer may not have an Edison Mina in their pocket, they are sure to have one of these generipens sitting in the drawer, waiting to write at their beck and call. The generipen is beautiful, just like the cold starry night, just like the simple vehicle that gets drivers from here to there. Take a few moments to write a letter to a loved one with the generipen in your own drawer.