...ran out of ink, that is. I exhausted the ink cartridge, I mean.
And I don't mean that I emptied one of those mean little fountain pen cartridges that last five or six minutes. This cartridge was the slender refill in my Cross ballpoint.
When I wrote about the environmentalism of pens, and the act of using a pen until the ink ran out, it didn't occur to me that I'd be in that situation quite so soon.
It's a pleasing situation to be in, having used something up completely; it's like realising the full potential of the ink cartridge. Kind of like using a chicken carcass to make stock or soup once the meat has been picked from the bones. Nothing is wasted. I like that. There's a sense of completeness, too, of finality.
I suppose, on reflection, I could have guessed that the skinny Cross refills would not last as long as the slightly portlier Parker or Faber-Castell refills. But the Cross has been my every day work pen for the last couple of years, so I've had a good run out of it. It's an uneven comparison, but I'll be interested to see how much longer the refills from the other manufacturers last.
I'll also be interested to see how long the new Cross refill lasts. That said, my replacement refill has a medium nib (the original had a fine nib) so may not last as long as the original. It's a curious thought, that a fine nib pen is somehow better value - less wasteful - than one with a thicker nib.
So I have a fresh ink cartridge for a fresh new year. What perfect timing.