A shop in the renovated downtown of Ballard –former warehouse buildings living new brick lives as artists’ studios and loft apartments- sells only paper. Gift cards and wrapping paper, of course, but at the back of the shop is a wall of paper replicas: food, currency, houses, cars, passports, people and even miniature office cubicles complete with paper balloon water coolers. Some come pre-assembled, others are die-cut and await construction.
Whoever buys one of these replicas will soon find they have no need for what it represents, though the little papercraft they purchased will become strangely precious to them.
This can be liberating. It can also be terrifying. And devastating.
If the results of your purchase are too overwhelming for you, ask a friend to burn the paper talisman for you. You will not be able to bear carrying out the task yourself.