Monday, August 28, 2006

Show and Tell

Here in the studio building, nothing is ever really thrown away. When an inmate moves out or is swept up in a reorganizational frenzy, unwanted furniture, artwork, and sundry items of all kinds are deposited in specific spots in the various elevator lobbies. There orphaned discards wait to be taken in by new custodians. In the ten years or so I've prowled the corridors I've seen particular items recycled in this way a number of times.

I have the pack rat gene from both sides of my family, so this situation is equal parts blessing and curse. One 1950's drop leaf dinette table- black iron spider legs supporting a barge shaped black rubber edged white Formica top patterned with what looked like black pick up sticks - was snaked out from under me by the stained glass worker a few doors down after I foolishly continued on my bathroom mission instead of on the spot pee dance dragging it back to my lair. It was half way down the hall to her place before I'd even zipped. Never to be foiled, I watched it hawk like 'till her recent relocation. Now the prize is finally MINE, made sweeter still by so much patient anticipation. This can't be healthy.

This colorful little item appeared for the first time in my tenure. It was carefully made, and not at all recently, likely by one of the wood workers in the basement judging by the fine cherry and mahogany dust which coated it. Was it the recorder maker? The man who ripped fireplace surrounds from eighteenth century farm houses, stripped them, and sold them to Manhattan decorators? I imagine it held splines or biscuits or wooden plugs like the one glued to drawer #100-200. Now it holds nothing, except some pleasurable fascination for me, that which I have for things with a former life, and my delight in their mysteries.
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