one last time: faber castell grip 1345
The sun is rising over a city. It paints the clouds in shades of orange, pink and cream over a pale blue sky. They reflect from the glass windows, breaking into thousand beautiful shards like a kaleidoscope. A bird starts to sing a hopeful melody outside. Soon, others join. It is a bright day, the type of day they tell about in fairy tales. The day is alluring, inviting you outside. You throw open the curtains and pour your morning coffee. While you take your first steaming sip, I start my story.
I am not really a pencil person, but I cannot do without them. They were also my first stationery obsession. Mechanical pencils in 0.5 were absolutely indispensable because I used to write tinier and none of my pens could keep up with it.
I pride myself in not losing any pens or pencils, the only one that I have ever lost was a Faber Castell Grip 1345 in dark green, stolen in school. The pencil I will tell about today is the second one I owned, a black Faber Castell Grip 1345. They changed the model now with a textured grip, I think that’s two generations after mine. My pencil still has the smooth rubbery grip. It is little over a decade long, and was loved very much, albeit not gently. I forgot this pencil in many places, but it comes back to me every time. The most memorable one was when it was in the school library. I had forgotten it after studying. It turned out two weeks later on my desk in a classroom. Everybody told me it couldn’t have been mine. But I knew it. Only the “gr” part of the gold foiled “Grip” writing on it was worn off, and it was adequately scratched to show its age. It was my pencil.
This pencil got me through middle school, high school entrance exams and exams for university. I took the exams for my dream university with this pencil. This pen is my origin story.
During my university years, it fell out of favour as I acquired regular access to fancier mechanical pencils and drafting pencils. Even though I had this pencil for more than half of my life, it wasn’t used much in the past two years until today. I searched high and low for it, afraid that this was the final loss.
But no. It is impossible to lose. I eventually found it under a bunch of markers in a pen cup. When I took it out, I realised my pencil finally gave up on me. The barrel is cracked in a few different places. The threads hold it together still. It is still fighting for one last writing session.
The final rest is necessary and unavoidable at this point. It shall continue to sit in a (different) pen cup on my desk , its last resting place. A reminder that perhaps none of my other mechanical pencils or even fountain pens would be with me if it wasn’t for the mighty Faber Castell Grip 1345, old model. This pen started my appreciation of good stationery.
Goodbye my little pencil. I will never forget you. Now it is time for the newer generation to shine. My drafting pencils and shaker pencils have been carrying this tiresome burden for some time anyway, and it is official now.
My current well-loved mechanical pencils are:
Pentel Graph 600 (0.5): This is a purely utilitarian pencil. I only use it while drawing and despise writing with it because the grip is too far above the paper. It is useful while drawing but not so much for writing.
Tombow Mono Graph (0.5): I like using all of the Mono line, but this is my most used. The shaker mechanism is a very big win for me. The even bigger win is the lock for the shaker mechanism so that you don’t end up with broken lead in your pencil case while carrying it around.
Pilot Nextage (0.5): Another shaker mechanism, but this pencil’s body is slightly more comfortable. It is also the one with the shortest tip, so I can hold it quite close to the paper.
Steadler Mars Micro (0.3): This pencil only exists in my pen case because of architectural reasons. Details are hard to draw if your pencil is not thin enough. I am a little terrified of the lead inside it finishing, I have never seen 0.3 lead sold anywhere.
As for the eraser… I just hope that mistakes won’t be made. Or grab whatever is the nearest one.