It is merely a hotel pen, that arrived on the loading dock with 999 other identical pens. But it means something to me, just like that sand painting or lei or snow globe means to you. I picked it up at the Renaissance Koh Samui in Thailand during a trip around the world nearly four years ago.
I don’t think the hotel chains know that their pens have meaning. If they did, they would order the custom pens instead of the ones that just say “Renaissance Hotels.” I have a whole drawer of hotel pens without meaning: Marriott, Hilton, Doubletree, and more. But this custom pen has meaning. I used it to write postcards from the deck of our deluxe room…during the day, of course, because the mosquitoes moved in at night, camping around the yellow glow of our room.
Since then, it has traveled with me in backpacks and carry-ons to other parts of the world. Its trip to China last month will be its last. The pen is starting to get a bit temperamental, so I will throw it away today before it decides to glob on my shirt or my notebook. I still have my Koh Samui memories, along with about 100 other hotel pens that are begging to be used.
I’ll write more about the Renaissance Koh Samui soon, but this pen deserved its own story after the journey it’s taken.
PS. I don’t really have feelings for ballpoint pens.