The Pencil

Today, as I stared in to a dark road for lights that somewhat resembled those of a bus, I realized something about myself. I realize that I am patient. I am patient because there is a lot I do not jabber about. I hate to. I don’t understand people, or why they do what they do. I don’t understand why people are unfair, or dishonest. I do know, however, that there are several things that tick me off. Several.

I don’t hear myself complain a lot. Mostly when people ask me how I’m doing, I tell them oh don’t ask. Life is very busy. It’s senior year. The truth is, I’m faking it. I actually don’t know what to say. I just state the universal truth. You know, that senior year is hard, or that it’s so hot today, or that my fluid lab instructor is a piece of work. 

Last weekend though, I couldn’t help but make an exception to this. I couldn’t stop talking about an incident that happened with me. I have two purple mechanical pencils thats I adore to death. I have had them in freshman year, when I was out of school, working minimum wage, when I fell sick, and when I rejoined school. They’ve been there through thick and thin, and they are my favorite color. 

The end of the lead outlet is adjusted to my hands grip. The lead flows effortlessly as I write in my usual cursive style on any kind of paper. The pencils are PERFECT. But, I lost them. I did not know where they went, or how I lost them. They disappeared from my life. I tried looking for them, but I couldn’t find them. During the summer, I purchased a new pencil. A blue one. I hated it, but I had no other option. The writing wasn’t distinct, I felt like I was marking wax paper, and I was just sad.

Last week, I saw my friend dangle my purple pencil in his hands as he sat in front of me in Fluids class. My eyes got fixated on the pencil. I stared at it oscillating in the air, diving in to the paper to scribble his thoughts, and then plunging up in to the air again. I followed it’s motion. I was furious, but more than anger I felt agony. I felt desperation – the way you feel when the only thing that separates you from the object of your affection is a wall that you can’t penetrate. So you’re stuck behind a window, close enough to look but never close enough to hold. 

I was mad. This is a friend who would bring the Lost and Found system to it’s knees. He picks things up, and he puts them in his bag. Nothing escapes his sight. He sees things without an owner, and claims them. My other friends and I have talked him out of picking random people’s things up on several occasions. The thought of him picking something that belonged to me angered me. Mind you, it’s not about the pencil. It is about the principal behind it. You don’t take what’s not yours. It is wrong. It is a lowly act.

It was only a coincidence that I ended up in his house the same weekend. I rambled on in a drunken state as I sat by his kitchen counter. I had suppressed my urge to confront him earlier in the week. I guess somewhere in my heart though, I had still not forgiven him. I was still furious. And there it was. My purple pencil, sitting on his kitchen counter, staring right at me. I stared right back at it. It was then, in the spirit of vigilante justice, that I decided to take the law in to my own hands. In that moment, I believed so strongly in an eye for eye phenomenon, I STOLE THE PENCIL BACK.

I stole what was mine back, and a part of me knows I should feel bad for it, but another half keeps justifying my actions. I am torn over it. After the incident, the next person who asked me “how’s it going?” did not receive my typical response. I told the individual I was fine, but the only thing I ever talked about is what I did, and why I did it. I suppose I did so, because the injustice of it disturbed the balance of my mind. 

So when people rant about different things when asked how they’re doing, in their minds they see injustice, and they vocalize it. I suppose that means nearly all of us believe that life in general is unfair, or is probably a summation of unfair people doing unfair deeds. The emotional imbalance I suffered because of this pencil restored my sensitivity to my surroundings. I thought I had stopped being effected, but I am glad to know that if the situation asks for it, I still do give a fuck about some things. 

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