A large bump lives at the end of my middle finger. It’s a lonely spot really. Dark even, living underneath the shadow of my index finger. Bump doesn’t get much attention. Ignored. Rarely do I ask, “What is this bump on my finger?” Though it’s not a wart which insists on being treated quickly with daily drips of liquid vitamin E. No, my bump is a self-inflicted friend.
When I’m giving the highway salute, bump sits quietly and unobtrusively–almost sheepishly–at the end of my finger. Perhaps thinking “Hello!?” when the rest of my body holds itself in an aggravated knot cursing at the Lexus driving by, “Where did you learn how to drive!?” Bump has been teaching me a few lessons. For example, the highway salute does no good at all as it’s usually only greeted with a step on the gas pedal and honking.
My first memory of meeting bump occurred in the third grade. Mrs. Sundun drilled us with malicious multiplication tables and spelling bees that she played on a small phonograph in the classroom. The hard edges of the yellow Dixon Ticonderoga pencil bore heavily against my middle finger as I sought to etch the answers into the page finding, instead, that they had been etched into me. After drawing endless pictures of Godzilla and brain eating monsters for Jerry Donahue and Michael Felix, the bump grew from a simple red shiny spot to a pronounced and permanent member of the finger family.
An OfficeMax perches above the 680 in Walnut Creek right where the end of San Luis Road smacks into North Main. While wondering through the lost memories of my childhood, I tried to focus on finding the gel pen of my dreams. Seeing how the Kingdom of Slurpee, also known as 7-11, has an outpost at the end of San Luis, I somehow found myself looking for the treasure in that neighborhood. That’s a long way to drive for a slurpee. Especially since I gave them up years ago. That would be odd, seeing how I live twenty-four miles away, if my wife Jill and I hadn’t just been visiting my grandmother.
The Pilot G-2 07 has an addictive quality. The bump loves them. Bump doesn’t speak up all that often except when the Pilot G-2 07 gel pen rests gently against it. Bump sighs softly. The rest of my hand thanks me too since it requires very little force to make a flowing blob of art on the paper. I call it handwriting. Most people wouldn’t. Looks more like a brain eating monster. These pens are nearly impossible to find even on the internet and sell out quickly.
When I used a Pilot G-2 07, the bump on my finger sighed, cooed, purred even. Pure evil. Now, I must have boxes and boxes of those pens. Bump doesn’t ask for much, so what bump wants, bump gets.
When I stopped to talk with the sales representative at OfficeMax, she understood my inquiry immediately. “Yes, the Pilot G-2 07 is what you want.” I told her that it couldn’t be the other one. Because there are two Pilot G-2 pens, you know. One writes too finely and the ink doesn’t flow smoothly. Much too much work for the bump on my finger. “Exactly”, she replied. She aptly described the flow of the ink and how the 05 didn’t really get the job done. Only the 07 had the kind of fluid motion required for making the scrawling mess on paper flow smoothly. The Pilot G-2 07 alone provides the comfort and support needed. Holding up her hand, she showed me the quiet, shy bump on her finger.