He's about sixteen inches tall. He weighs about sixty pounds. And he's an original; the prototype, from which my dear friend Chuck created the mold. He is, at this precise moment in time, homeless, kicked out of my old office 2200 miles away. I'm not sure exactly how I am going to get him here, if I am going to get him here at all.
Chuck was always a bit of a polymath; a software engineer who was also an artist? Unheard of, surely? But Chuck was all this and more. He'd even attained something akin to notoriety; his work featured in the local paper's art competition seeking an inventive portrait of nudes. His kids suggested that would be "dirty", so he used this theme to make a sculpture of a nude with a toilet seat and two plungers. His prize was to be pictured in the Sunday supplement with his award-winning piece, naked of course, but oh-so-tastefully done. If he would sit still for long enough, he'd tell you about his next project, before he moved on to something else. I was revving up to do the voice-over for an animated feature he was about to create; I'd be playing a narcileptic rooster named Colin. With a British accent, for some reason. I think there might be a joke in there somewhere at my expense, I'm not sure.
Then, there was the Moai head. I'm not sure what was the initial motivation to start making them; but I do know he did intend to produce one at full scale. I'm not sure how well that would go down with his local neighborhood of curtain-twitchers; they were the kind of folks who required planning permission for you to paint your front door. This guy here is about one-sixth of full scale, which means a full-sized one would have ended up weighing something like seven tons. That was the point where Chuck concluded that, if he wanted a real one, he'd have to make it hollow. Meanwhile, he geared up to make the miniatures; from this original came the mold, and from the mold would come a whole army of them, setting solid on his garage floor while, in that great American tradition, his motor vehicle sat out in the driveway.
Chuck moved on, and we lost touch. The last I heard, he was working in Louisville. And, just like the countless times I've done this before, I remained confident that we shared enough common acquaintances to remain in touch, and, somehow, I ended up with my not-so-little friend here, complete with Chuck's signature on the bottom. Of course, the remaining in touch never happened; and now, I've moved a rather long way away. My former office neighbor Dan contacted me this morning. There's been a bit of office musical chairs going on, and my concrete buddy is now outside in the hallway, seeking a new home. What on earth am I going to do with him?Related articles