I am at Kushner Studios, south of Canal, waiting for some boring paperwork to get signed/sealed so I can run it to Landmarks several blocks down. I ask for my contact there, Bo, who is out doing something. I'm antsy because I'm running out of time to file with landmarks. I'm told by a mac boi to have a seat at the window / conference table, which I do, not before being confronted by
... the Object in Question.
In disbelief, I gingerly place my palm pilot and the plans I'm holding on the conference table, trying to play it cool.
I look around, and there are maybe two or three employees zonked out in front of their CAD screens. I'm pretty sure nobody is going to watch what I'm about to do, which is to say, begin to unabashedly fawn.
I circle the object several times, it's sitting on a bed of folded down cardboard boxes. My pulse has quickened and I am finding my theory is correct. It is rough hewn, damaged. At this point Bo should just leave me alone with this found object because Landmarks can shove it. I'm grinning like a moron and trying very hard not to giggle.
It seems massive and compact at the same time. More object-in-space than space-in-object. The interior certainly does not look like the Hilton. And yet I want to be inside. I need to be inside. My pulse quickens. It is in two very large pieces, both continuities of an ever larger piece. The airbrushed, tiny cyrillic text against the army-green upholstery adds insult to the injury of my already magnified and wide awake machine fetish. The one I don't talk about. My forehead has erupted in tiny crystalline beads of perspiration. I circle again. Suddenly I want Bo to come and sign and seal the damn papers just so I don't have to be near it anymore. The force of magnetic pull is just more than I can bear. I... I would never desecrate it with my touch, I can only undress its panels and dials and controls with my eyes. It is an amputee, wires and tubing jaggedly extending from cut fuselage like splinters of bone and retracted arterial walls. Beautiful, horrific. The larger, black American numerals stenciled on the exterior counterpoint to the smaller and more focused cyrillic of the cockpit interior. It looks more uncomfortable than the back of a Volkswagen. It looks like something rough hewn but meant to bond with the human body, inviting me in the same manner as the women of Tankograd were invited, who bruised themselves in combat gladly against their own machines for days on end. The thought of its metal touching my flesh, being roughed up in it, bruised by it... just leaves me spellbound.
I stifle a self-aware chuckle and lose out to a laugh.
This is on the level of the time that ub3 and I half jokingly wanted to steal a chrome space-flight evocating liquid-smooth sculpture of flight from The Octagon in DC, or the time I fantasized about stealing Giacomo Balla's Plastic Construction of Noise and Speed for my partner... I find myself magnetized.
Employees shuffle papers, a few mouse clicks in a silent office. I look around for anyone to even acknowledge me. I address the question instead to the conditioned air:
"Tell me somebody bought this MiG on Ebay."
The tense studio erupts in laughter, and Macboi springs to attention, as if all of a sudden I have elevated myself at least five levels of human being. He explains to me that this is the boss's, the front 1/3rd of a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, a Fishbed no less, I want to say a Fishbed-C, but I was too busy drooling to listen to what he was saying. If he said a Fishbed B.. and I missed it.. I'm a goddamned idiot. Turns out l'object decoratif was bought from some old guy in Jersey, found via the net, yes. It belongs to the Big Boss, whose sign/seal I am waiting for, but will be executed by an underling. I am DYING to meet this man. The reason for the english lettering on the outside & cyrillic inside is, although it was soviet-manufactured, it was flown by Germans. God knows how it ended up in New Jersey, and later Manhattan. I can only know that the man who went to all this trouble to acquire this object and lodge it on the fourth floor of his nyc studio... this man fucking gets it. I don't even want to meet him. Knowing that others exist besides us is sometimes good enough.
I walk out of the studio, signed papers in hand, stumble down to Landmarks, giddy that these sorts of things exist in the world, that if I am good enough I will be able to eventually one day indulge my fetishes . to that degree . and even more delighted to have someone to share this with who gets it. who understands the compelling end dream goal of eventually sitting fat in one's own studio with a huge chunk of a soviet fighter plane to keep one company.
We were designed specific.