Unravelign Paperclips

August 20, 2009
By Brenna Paige McCaffrey BRONZE, Poughkeepsie, New York
Brenna Paige McCaffrey BRONZE, Poughkeepsie, New York
3 articles 1 photo 0 comments

It is a habit I cannot dismiss; grasping the ends of those slippery, silvery ends and pulling, unbending, willing the metal to bow beneath my fingertips. There is something other-worldly about the power I feel when I take the purpose away from something. That lousy three-inch stick of metal was nothing until it was bent three times by some machine. Only then could it hug sheets of paper together and contain within its bends the pages bursting full of words.
It was my habit that was causing a dilemma today. Mum had handed me a pile of papers, (legal things that I found monotonously boring) and asked me to please clip them together and place them on her desk. There I was, standing before her large oak desk, my damp hands leaving marks upon the already marked wood. I was staring down into the open desk drawer that was satiated with loose sheets of paper and pencils and stamps. There, in the tiny box in the right hand corner, was where we usually kept the paperclips. All that remained was a pile of kinked wire, almost perfectly straight. I had unraveled them in a hurry, my fingers wanting to move and perform the action.
It was yesterday that I did this; I was fetching a legal pad and pencil for a guest called Mr. Nillian. The stairs were passing beneath my feet as I whispered to myself, “One, two, three, four. . .” I had almost reached nine when my voice fumbled, the air not quite reaching to my throat. Vision clouding, palms heating up, every step on the staircase seemed to make my spine ache. My fingers twitched with anticipation and I jumped the last few steps, eager to leave the staircase. I dropped the book I was grasping and ran for my Mother’s office, which housed the oak desk. The door swung open loudly and I paused, slowly letting it close so that it would make no noise, and then pulled the drawer open. I felt the cool metal on my tense skin. Instantly soothing, I wished for more, dragging the tiny loop over my cheek. I looked at it closely, appreciating its curves before I slipped the edge under my fingernail and began to pull with a frantically even pressure. The first loop, gone. The second, gone with a few more seconds. Two kinks remained behind in the wire. One more loop, the smallest loop. It was too feeble, to easy to destroy. It was also my favorite part. With a yank, I unraveled the last bit. Gone. No more paperclip.
No more paperclip. . .but I needed paperclip! I picked up one of the bent wires and examined it. The kinks still remained, imperfect, but a guide. Using those markings, I tried to re-bend it. Once, twice. No, that’s uneven. Try again. It’s methodical; I am creating purpose from nothing. Poof! I have just created paperclip. What was in my hands just moments ago was a kinked bit of wire. Useless, unless someone needed a lock-pick. But I have recreated it, and now it can hold papers again. I have given the paperclip back its existence. It is one of my numerous magical powers. I use my creation to hold Mummy’s papers together, place them on her desk. I close the desk drawer that houses paper and pencil and stamps and wire. Someday soon I will come back and recreate some paperclips for Mum. Maybe this time someone will be here to watch me do it. That must be a glorious thing to see; the birth of a paperclip.

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