Two years and many lives away.

Lately, I’ve been wondering where my father’s old
pens went. Whenever he used to visit, I would play magpie and steal his
gold-filled Parkers. He would always notice, of course, and politely ask for
them back.

He signed documents with
fountain pens, one of which was a fat Montblanc. I saw it several times and
would always ask for it. I never got it. I practiced his signature, but a
ballpen was a poor mimic; where was the juicy e, the lofty l? Only a fountain
pen would do.

I bought one for myself,
when I thought I could afford it.

The pen
is still with me, but my father, who was only sometimes with us, isn’t, anymore.

There are afternoons when the light,
sliced by the blinds, carves Lucien’s sleeping face into his grandfather’s. Then
the blinds move, and time ticks forward, as it has no choice but to