Cement dinosaurs. Cement bears and geese. Ornamental concrete has its place in our society. It has a place in my home. Several places, in fact. All of the end table drawers in this room contain cement recreations of sliced onion and kidney beans. There is a cement opossum I sit next to each morning while I have my lemons. Over time, I've used different names on this creature. Sal, Sally, Little Bip-Bip, Blessed Lee. None of them seem right. The pink painted belly has chipped away due to my rubbing. But the black marble eyes still glisten. Its face says, “I know, I know, I know, it's too late, it's too late.”

When I die I want it kept very far away from my grave.

Heavy concrete recreations of the living and the dead alike speak to our need as humans to experience the thrill of kidnapping without the hassle. We can hold onto things. Make them ours while also making them difficult to move or be stolen. We can use a dolphin to hold down our papers without enduring a lengthy permitting process.

One of my most challenging pieces is the concrete splash kept near the front door. Four feet across, it captures a splash of water or chemicals as it hits the cabinetry.

The moment right before you recognize your mistake and have to call off the research session. It freezes time when everything is still OK. When we were still happy and still a family.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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