The shop was open from 10 A.M. to noon and again from 2 to 4 P.M., because in Austria everyone needs a good, unhurried lunch, and anything you can’t do today you can do tomorrow. I slipped into the narrow, dim space and inhaled the smells of loose tobacco, milk chocolate, and stacks of thick paper. Passing the roundish proprietor in his hunter green boiled-wool cardigan, I stopped at the wall of pens: thirty-seven shades and ten different tips. They all made urgent, dramatic marks on the tissue-thin pink airmail paper. After much deliberation, I chose the midnight blue fine-point, handed over the crumpled two-hundred-schilling note I’d received for selling my plasma earlier that day, and took the change to a cafe, where I could sip my coffee for hours as I wrote letters home.