December 11th, 2006

pencil

and then they stop making it

from Jonathan Carroll:
The small but real pleasure in life of finding an object that is the absolute best of its kind for you and subsequently knowing that you don't need to look for others anymore because you've found THE one. The right coffee, the right rollerball pen, the right notebook, the right underwear, the right diner, the perfect cheeseburger. In many ways life is an ongoing (and sometimes unconscious) series of searches for big things and small. Happiness, a partner, peace, the perfect cheeseburger. As we all know, actually finding the big ones are rare; impossible much of the time. But the small ones are sometimes attainable if we are lucky. How satisfying it is when we come across something that perfectly fits the curve of our desire. I read an interview recently with a famous musician. They were talking about the guitar they used, a surprising choice because it is a relatively cheap, nothing special brand and model. The performer said they had discovered it when they were first starting out. After testing countless others over the years, they realized this specific guitar was the one they liked best. They owned seven of them now and never even tried others because they were absolutely certain they had found what they were looking for in that department.


I have had this pleasure on a number of occasions, with mixed results - for example, a great pair of boots that appear to be no longer manufactured in my size (36); the revived and reissued Moleskine notebooks, on the other hand, seem to be thriving and flourishing so there's hope I'll continue to be able to find them. Then there are the constant tweakings that hair care and cosmetic companies insist on making to their lines that inevitably end up changing or discontinuing something I really like.

The boots are the real loss - I bought mine several years ago, and have worn them constantly, but now the soles are worn to the point they make my knees ache if I wear them and throw my gait off. I should have ordered multiple pairs in the first year or so after I got the first ones, I suppose. Damn my miniscule feet.