Cardboard Chromatics: An Economic Draftsman Story

by Michael Zabel

  
Peculiar was the day in the Pacific Northwest.  Ordinarily consisting of the perpetual peppering of a light and misty rain, this day, the heavens opened up as a torrent of thick showers coupled with the ever elusive thunderclap.  The artist was feverishly working in his lonesome studio, with a thought slowly creeping up his spine…climbing and retreating…ebbing and flowing…alas, lurching into the back of his mind settling into a parasitic slumber leaving the artist had no choice but to stop working and track the order online.

Where are those supplies I ordered last week?

A moderately melodious, cannonade of click, tap tap, click clack emanated from the studio walls until a diminutive denouement…click.  A gloomy animated GIF performed its stationary spiral routine on the unnatural glow of the computer’s bleak and vacant display of a browser window.  Loading…loadingloading

The artist, all too familiar with the temperamental nature of his internet service during inclement weather, began cursing it under his breath as he set out for the journey down the hallway to reset the modem.  Creaking sounded with each step as if the floor boards were caught off guard by the sudden and unexpected burden of carrying the inhabitant of the house.  With the modem reset -and router for good measure- the artist began to make the trek back to the studio, floorboards groaning all the while, until an unfamiliar noise came from downstairs.  The artist stopped cold in his tracks effectively ceasing any complaints from the ground beneath his feet.

Footsteps!

ClinkClunkClinkClunk…ClinkClunk…CLINKCLUNK!  THUNK…BuMMP.BuMMP.BuMMP.BuMMP.BuMMP!

Another soul was rapping at the door.  The artist shook himself from the temporary paralysis that came on like a freight train with the sudden surprise of the pounding, nimbly tip-toeing to the asylum of his studio where his computer was just now re-establishing its internet connection.  Click…refresh…and the tracking information was promptly displayed……

Parcel delivery confirmed (left on front porch).

The artist, laughing at himself, calmly descended the stairs to retrieve the delivery, and rescue it from the deluge, peeking though the door’s window along the way.  The truck (assuming that a delivery truck would deliver such things) was no longer present as the artist reached the door.  Clunking the deadbolt to rest, a new creaking sound introduced the sonorous storm, formerly known as the repressed resonance. Lightning flashed and a thunderclap (in full surround sound) engulfed the mere humanity of the artist as he gathered up the inanimate packages that lay at his feet.  Awestruck by the sheer force of a sound’s ability to shake the seemingly solid earth beneath him, the artist slowly closed the door and punctuated the action with the re-clunking of the deadbolt.

With the storm effectively muted once again, the artist retreated to his studio with the three packages where he gleefully (almost too gleefully) sliced the packing tape with his box cutter to reveal the spoils of his new inventory.  Everything he ordered was laid out systematically across the work bench in neat piles contrasting the slapdash remains of the packaging materials on the floor behind him.  A growing sense of agitation, both at the mess he made and at the wasteful nature of the delivery industry, began to creep up the same avenue of his previous nagging inquiries.

Now what am I gonna do with you?

Box cutter in hand and a full-on maniacal sneer gracing his face, the artist approached the cardboard boxes and began to plunge the blade into the outer seams, slicing downward until the boxes lay splayed open on the work table.  The artist proceeded to methodically cut and slice the box into stacks of smaller pieces.  The cardboard squares and rectangles were organized, precisely stacked and filed away deep in the artist’s hidden supply closet where they would stay until the artist called upon them…one by one…to be reused…as paint palettes.  One last burst of lightning fought its way though the half closed blinds of the studio; a distant roll of of rumbling carried the heavy rains out over the deeps of the ocean.

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