The EraserMate Life

Watching the television, I saw an ad for a GelMate pen, and it made me remember, something from my childhood, the excitement of new ball point pen. You might have experienced it, you are a child of 10, and you have been writing in pencil for the most of your life because you didn’t want to be caught not being able to spell correctly, or doing your math problems, you’d make a mistake and didn’t want to have to find the WhiteOut or cross out, and fix the problem. And then, BAM! You life changes when they PaperMate introduced the EraserMate. Mine was such a shade of blue, not too bright, not too dark. It was the perfect blue and black accents to match my Batman childhood disguise. The best part, erasing ink! I loved that pen for the greater part of my childhood. I must have taken it apart a god-zillion amount of times, fingered the spring, took off the cap, unscrewed the barrel, parked it in my mouth like a cigarette to look winsome while thinking of things to write.
Pens in my life are something of a history. My first love was my grandfather’s multicolor pen. Clicking and unclicking, trying to decide which color to use, what to write, where to write it. It was like being part of royalty to have a pen like that. And the few times I was allowed to use it, made me think twice about wasting the green or red ink. They were too special to waste on doodling or nonsense. These were reserved for great observations of a young child, or Christmas lists or the drawing of toys I wanted to present to my grandparents as a subtle sales hint; robot, calculator, pocket radio, remote race car. Black and blue were saved for prose. Immediately, I hated blue, it was so common! Bic was big back then. Cheap and plentiful. But I wanted something special to match me. From then on I would seek out to write in black ink, like a real writer, or so I imagined.
But then the EraserMate came along. Blue ink. How could I love this pen so much? I could erase my poor spelling, a concession would need to be made. There was something so innocent about those days, that I missed, seeing the GelMate commercial. I used to be excited about a new pen. I used to find wonder in the world unveiling itself in front of me. My world then was of school, friends, home, and parents, not of hate and disenfranchisement. Feeling older, worrying about money, and health and the world, I want that childhood wonder and my EraserMate back.


High angle view of a village Tobermory Ontario CanadaAs I get older I’ve noticed that time seems to go by way too quick.  I’m sure there are a lot of factors to this, other than my hair turning gray, but it seems strange.  It seems only like yesterday that we were celebrating the New Year.  Well, maybe not yesterday, but something close, not like we’d be seeing the first hours of fall today.  I saw some leaves on the wet roads this morning on the way to work, thus propagating that theory that fall is here.  On my trip to NJ, over the weekend, I was thinking that maybe I’d see some red, yellow, or orange foliage, but there was nothing but highways.    Apparently there is no foliage in NJ, just asphalt, black asphalt, and lots of it.  There were, however, multi-colored cars out there; most in an electric blue.   I’m not sure where that falls in the NJ scheme of fall, but in Pennsylvania, I don’t think we have any blue leaves.

When I was I kid in NJ, I looked forward to fall.  I looked forward to Halloween.  My parents, didn’t look forward to anything.  My mother, was born in October, and was sick of getting the ubiquitous pumpkin colored cake at her birthday, so she rebelled as an adult.  She hates orange, black, brown or any of those autumn colors, because of that fact.  Maybe that’s why she always got clothes in those colors for me and my brother as some subliminal mind fuck.  But I digress.   I was out only a few times Trick or Treating as a child, the rest of the time I pretended not to be excited about getting wads of candy from neighbors whose kids picked on and beat up my brother and I the other eleven months of the year.   By the time I became an adult, I’d gotten over the trauma, and I smile gleefully when someone comes to my door looking for a candy fix.   Halloween should be for kids.  When you see some seventeen year old kid, with a ripped tee-shirt and covered in blood, I do have to cringe and ask myself, is that real?

In grade school, there were those Halloween parties.  I don’t think they do that anymore.    I don’t know how they even allowed such things.  Kids are naturally high on energy, adding a shit load of candy to the mix any teacher would have to a masochist.  Kids would finish their candy before going home, because they knew their parents wouldn’t allow them to eat it all once they got home.  Their happy scary, amped up faces, covered in chocolate, and drool from the corners of their mouth, arriving at their home, bursting through the front door, and then bouncing off the walls.  Parents having to pry them off the ceilings, before they crash and burn.  Why wouldn’t parents like Halloween?

Although fall technically is here I will keep an outlook for the trees turning color.   We’ve had a few cool mornings.  The daylight has become less.  I go to work in the dark, and soon be coming back home in the dark.  Eventually, the artic chill will be on us again, I’ll be bitching about the ice, and then we’ll be talking fireworks for Fourth of July.  Time flies.   I need to pay better attention, or I’ll be looking at the calendar and it will be 2068.  2068?  Gees!  Wasn’t I supposed to be dead already?