The Pilfered Paperclip 

I am now in possession of the worlds most beautiful paper clip. How it came into my possession is a tale of theft, misinformation and architectural wonders. A tale to be told for generations, but first the paper clip itself. Just look at it:

Here it is again:

And once more for good luck:

It’s just an elegant piece of design. Its copper colouring, its subtle little bends, its longer than normal length, the way it clips paper. Just looking at it makes me happy. Good design makes me happy, there is something just joyful about discovering finding an object that does its job functionally while also being pleasurable to look at.
This paperclip doesn’t fasten paper together better than any other paperclip but the mere fact that it looks better give the things it hold more importance, more weight. Like this is a paperclip of note, the things that it secures should reflect that.

I actually do not own anything worthy of this paperclip. This makes ownership of it slightly stressful. It needs to be used or else it’s not doing its job, fulfilling its destiny. It needs to be seen or else the world will not know its beauty. But I have no documents of world interest which need to be collated. Its currently holding the papers it came with in an envelope on the floor. This is sacrilegious. Thoughts of it consume my mind, nagging me to help it reach its full potential.

How did I come to become the guardian of this entity I hear you ask? Well let me detail the caper.

Twas a radiant summers day in London, the city was alive in the magical way it does on those rare long hot days. It was a Monday afternoon, my weekday day off, not a day that a crime is expected to take place. The city is supposed to be mine to do with as I please, but it isn’t. the parks are full with people inhaling the sun on one of the 14 days it shows its face. They should be working. I don’t know why they are not. I ignore them. They are not why I’m here.

Its summer so the Serpentine pavilion is up, I love this. It’s like the paperclip, beautiful. Thought has gone into it, it’s a focal point, it brings people there just to exist in a space. It captures the eye and is fleeting, gone by autumn. The paper clip is more functional though. This pavilion encloses space but doesn’t protect from the weather.

As I meander through the pavilion I crave more information about who made it, what influenced them, what it symbolises. As I sit tolerating a terrible M & S sandwich I spy a stand with A4 sized envelopes. I see people picking them up. I assume this is an information pack full of glossy images and inspirational quotes.

I finish the sandwich and move over to stand, not entirely sure I’m supposed to take one so trying to avoid the looks of the attendants. I inspect the stand, there is no sign saying what they are or inviting me to take one. They are larger than I would expect for a free brochure.

I take one.

As I pick it up I see the words on the top of the unit. They are faint and hard to see. As the envelope comes closer to me I realise I’m supposed to be giving a suggested $1 (this should be a pound sign, but my keyboard doesn’t have one) donation. It’s too late to put it back but I don’t want to donate and I see no box to do so in. I take it and move away, knowing I have effectively just stolen from a non-profit arts organisation. I’m a criminal.

I move back to the seats to inspect my prize as though I’ve made a contribution like a conscientious citizen and am enjoying the results. It’s not information about the pavilion. It’s a “Architecture Family Pack: Loose Parts Kit”. Kids are supposed to use all the perforated paper parts to create stuff, and bond as a family unit in the process. Learning through creating. I don’t want this, I’m not going to create something with it, I have no children, it will just sit there cluttering my small room.

But then I see it holding everything together. My prize. I didn’t know it was there but it had been calling me all along.

The paperclip.

I stash the envelope in my bag to keep it all secure and to properly admire once I get home where I head immediately. Its glorious and mine. One day this will be seen as the start of my career as a well-designed objects thief, the point where it all started to go downhill.

I still just sit and admire it, it’s my precious. It needs a name, but no name is worthy of it.

How long this paperclip will be in my possession is up to the clip. I feel it moves about as it pleases, working its way to its destiny of fastening a document of world changing importance. One day it will no longer be mine, I may give it to a great love as a symbol of my feelings or it may be taken from me by a great enemy, or it may be pried from my cold dead hands. However it leaves me and wherever it goes it will be where it needs to be. This is a paperclip that is going places.

930 words about a paperclip complete.

Bewildered Observer