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#148 :: Spiky Silicone Keychain

July 7, 2004

You must hunker over your workbench with two tubes of vibrantly colored silicone caulk, and you must squeeze and wait, squeeze and wait, squeeze and wait. The first color must go on with mathematical certainty, each point of goop destined to hold a certain place on the microtopography of the underlying rubber ball. You must wait now, perhaps overnight, for the tray of weird little half-made things to cure, the reek of silicone vapors permeating your factory floor. You must return the next day. Your thing is almost done. You pick up the other tube of technicolor caulk, and you fill in the gaps, with mathematical faith rather than certainty that your work today will complete the work of yesterday perfectly, without variation in height, volume or placement of the tiny beads of color. You put it down again. And come back hours later, to put in the screw, affix the little chromed chain, so tiny as to make this the morningstar weapon for a Teletubby knight. And you must put it into the box with the others, to be shipped to far away places where people spend good money on suuch tactile, febrile, ultimately worthless trinkets. And you laugh, because you have a good meal to eat tonight and somewhere somebody has just this thing you spent the past two days of your life making (staggered, of course, with the manufacture of dozens more). You laugh and you take a bite of your rice cake, amused, happy to be having lunch on such a beautiful day, beneath a magenta and fluorescent orange sun.

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