Maya cursed as she dug into her shelf and couldn’t find a single pen. Frustrated, she wrenched open her pencil case and spotted a lonely pencil. Whistling, she withdrew a sharpener she didn’t know she possessed. She flung the pouch back into the shelf and holding the pencil and sharpener, walked straight to the dustbin in the corner.

As she finished sharpening and held the pencil up to examine its point in the light, she shook the blackened shavings into the bin. As she watched the spiky shavings spiral down slowly, she blinked owlishly into the depths. When was the last time she had stood in front of the dustbin and sharpened a pencil?

With technology (read: pen pencils, laptops, tablets) hot on the heels of habits that are now becoming rare, she couldn’t believe that her last memory of engaging in the simple act of sharpening a pencil went as far back as primary school, where to find someone standing behind the classroom door where the dustbin was usually situated, sharpening pencils was one of the few exciting moments of class.

The area behind the door was the perfect position in the classroom, offering a panoramic view of the entire class as you stood there, slowly and diligently shortening the length of your pencil. You held illicit conversations with your best friend while standing at the dustbin. You tried to sneak secret glances at your crush while pretending to sharpen the pencil.


Maya stood frozen as memories engulfed her wave after wave until the last pencil shaving hit the bottom of the bin. It seemed to sigh, as if it knew that the last vestiges of its kind were slowly fading into the black of the pit it had fallen into.







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