The sight of a quill frustrates me; yet, it is fascinating. The thin long black body mocks me, for it is the same no matter what country you reside in. The temporary tip gleams maliciously, ready to mark my skin if I do not handle the quill with care. Though when I grasp the thing within my hand and slide the jeering tip into the darkest ink I own, my fascination doubles and my frustration settles in the back of my throat and threatens my fingers to tremble. And yet, somehow, the quill has now become a part of me. The quill feeds itself from my blood, which has deepened to black. It draws my blood in thin streaks, dirtying white paper in attempt to make it beautiful. The paper lies still, taking the quill’s quick lashes, only screaming when I pick it up then put it down. My blood mars its flesh with my thoughts and dreams, language and visions. But it is all imperfect.
I know that what begins as a wondrous illusion caressing nerve endings in my brain, never comes out through the quill as I see it. It’s always distorted and scarred. The quill always laughs at me, always in control. I stare at my hands, smeared in ink. I sit, quiet, always wondering why I bother trying. Why do I try to control the quill when it is I who will always lose? Why do I continue to push, spilling myself onto paper and wounding it? Is it because someday I believe I will succeed? Overpower the quill without smashing its tip, without snapping its delicate body? That someday the quill and I will be friends, not similar strangers? Does the quill long for me, as I for it? I know only that it tolerates me, because we both cause each other pain.
Lucid are the words I can never seem to express and clear are the images I can never show. Yet I wonder if I am the only one that feels this way. I tend to never finish what the quill and I begin, sometime it’s just too much to bear. Too draining. After I decide I am done, I usually take the motionless quill and gently wipe away the black in warm running water. I dry it just as carefully, then lay it to rest back in its case. I set the case into a dark drawer and close it quietly. Then I tighten the lid onto the small vial of ink and keep that on my desk, near the window so I can watch the sunlight be consumed by the ink. I finally close my eyes, the sight of black frustrating me.