02 July 2010

The Point of an Eraser

Title: The Point of an Eraser
Author: Lewis
Writing: point-of-view
Word Count: 747

Disclaimer: I do not own Tombow or MONO or anything of the sort. Thank you.

I am an eraser of the MONO variety- easily recognizable in a black-and-blue striped paper jacket and a plastic wrapping. The eraser is one of the most popular and well-used school supply materials around. There’s just one problem: being an eraser is an ensured path to doom.
It’s not as if I don’t realize how noble my existence is. I was created to remove the humans’ errors without a trace, to give them another chance to improve their work. I am a vital component of their daily lives. I am proud of myself and my cause. But I have realized that I will fulfill my destiny at the cost of my own life. Every day, my owner puts me to the paper using a cruel, almost bruising hold. As she erases, bits and pieces of me crumble away, as my rubbery form is unable to handle the paper’s abrasive surface. I am dragged over the paper repeatedly until my owner is satisfied with her work. She brushes the rubber scraps onto the floor, and returns me to the pencil box. Having lost too much weight, I exhaustedly recline in my designated corner.
Even more than gradually wearing away, I fear being broken into pieces. I’ve seen it happen to other erasers before. It begins as a tiny, almost unnoticeable crack one’s surface, forming due to some careless use. The crack spreads (like a tumor), an ever-present threat. One day, the owner uses his/her eraser a little too harshly, and it breaks apart. Sometimes it’s only a small chunk that breaks off a corner. Sometimes the eraser breaks in half. It doesn’t matter what size the chunk is, or how many pieces there are; the effect is the same. Thus, an eraser’s entire life is doomed once it cracks. To remain damage-free, an eraser needs to be kept without being used, and that in itself - denying an eraser its original purpose- is a torture too cruel to bear. No matter what happens to an eraser, its fate is the same. I’ve become somewhat accustomed to the idea, depressing as it sounds. Truth be told, I haven’t been able to discuss this with any other eraser yet, but I am pretty sure that what I’ve assumed is right.
Today, I have a little more than half of me still remaining. My owner has an annoying habit of wanting to clean off the dirty spots that are left after me after use- she cleans it off by erasing even more. After being placed back on the school desk, I survey my surroundings in boredom. One of my owner’s classmate friends passes by and stops to chat, placing her school materials beside me. A small eraser the size of a penny, worn to the point of being useless, rolls by. It’s an elder eraser, I realize with astonishment. Remembering that humans usually look to their elders for advice, I attempt to catch his attention.
“Sir,” I call. “Do you have a moment?” I tell him my thoughts.
The elder eraser- his name is Yorick- answers without hesitation. “Worry not, young eraser. It is not that erasers have no point in being created. Just as all humans will die at some point- long as their life spans are- all erasers will disappear. It is just a part of life. Have you ever read your owner’s writing?”
Bemused, I tell him that I have not. Why does he sound like the solution is so simple?
“Then you are missing out on a whole new plane of ideas. Try reading it next time, and you’ll see. We may have been made just to erase, but we make so many things easier for the humans. Without us, how many times would your owner be wasting pencil lead over scratching out her mistakes? Just how much cleaner did you make the paper, and how much was your owner able to improve her work with your help? You will only regain true peace of mind when you realize just how much you are involved in the creation of these masterpieces. Go forth, child, and learn. I bid you farewell!”
With that, Yorick leaves. My owner resumes writing after jokingly sending her friend away. Such a distracted girl. Yorick’s words leave me confused and bewildered, and I wonder how anything coming from a human like this can give my life any meaning. Within moments, she picks me up and begins to erase.

Haha, so I seem to be writing about the most random things-- the bus, and now an eraser? The bus was purely impulse; I just started riding the bus on my own today! I will no longer be ignorant of buses :) I want to ride with my friends some day. And the eraser... it was an assignment in my summer school class.
Today, our summer school teacher read picture books to us, as well as a Grimm Brothers' version of Cinderella. I just can't get that part -where the stepsisters' eyes get pecked out - out of my head :( And we're supposed to write a retelling of one or another version through another's point of view. One friend says that I should write from the point of view of the carnivorous (human-eye-eating) pigeons.

So thank you for reading! ~Lewis


Minsat said...

This was really well written :) I've missed your pieces D: I love Silver's stuff cuz they have lots of deep characters, but your writing style is completely different.

One critical-ish note: the story seems to kind of change in tone. At first, it's a bit more impassive, with just a description of the eraser's life from the eraser POV, but then the eraser starts making comments. Didn't seem on purpose :/

Either way, nice job b ^ ^ d (thumbs up). Please keep posting stuff XD

On another note: I'm with my older sister right now and I just started riding the free shuttle on my own too! We share the non-ignorance of buses :D

Good luck with your class, btw :)

SilverInk said...

I'm a torturer :( Mine always end up breaking into unusable chunks or--for the pretty ones that I never touch to keep them clean and pretty--never getting used. :(

I'm never going to look at erasers the same way again >.<


Lewis said...

Minsat: yea, to what you said, I heard something similar from someone else as well. ^-^; It really is kind of inconsistent, huh?
Thank you!

Silver: lulz, I think we're all the same. I can't imagine using erasers without breaking off parts of them along the way. Thanks <3

Lyrica said...

Lol. I like Yorick.

[Insert everything Minsat said]
[Insert everything Silver said]


Lewis said...

ahah, I just like the name Yorick.
Thanks! :)