I tie my sweater around my long johns’ waist for modesty’s sake, and get down to business, armed with a tape measure from the 10th floor (can’t wait until I’m allowed behind the frosted glass!) and my geophysical company’s office supplies. Turns out paper – a material I thought I knew so well – has a grain, a weft that must be respected for it to cooperate with the human form. I coax the curves with a staggered layering of scotch tape (packing tape proves too tacky and final). Cutting the pattern on the diagonal creates the chevron effect, and the fit is tailored with four darts on the front and ten ½” darts on the back – ending at different points to create a lifting effect that perfectly cups my….. Finally, to stabilize the shape of the side seams, I bend and tape in two thin pieces of metal I find digging through old printer/computer parts in our infamous ‘back room’.
Suddenly a revelation hits me; I’m having fun. But more than that, I’m entirely sated by my present, fully engaged in an interactive learning with the material and task at hand. My senses guide me through fluid problem solving with real time risks and rewards. Is this what she wanted me to know? Is this ‘blank canvas living’?
When I ring the buzzer on the 10th floor to return the tape measure, my new friend answers the frosted door herself. I do a few poses and show her my sketches, along with the results of my (trying to be super sexy in long johns, wool socks, and a paper skirt) self-timer, guerilla-style, file room photoshoot.
Her fluorescent pink lips glow even brighter when she laughs. “I had a feeling you were going to surprise me…” she says. “Let’s make an appointment for you to come back and take a tour. You know, I’ve been looking for someone like you for a long time.”