Profiles of Common Things

Profiles of Common Things No. 4: Umbrella

Umbrella

In essence a bare skeleton of steel, beginning with a collapsible spine meant to be stretched heavenward and locked, in the process unfurling in arches several radii jack-knifed in waiting, which in turn pull taut between them a thin slick cloth that balls moisture into droplets to slide tumbling to the ground — all of which occurs in seconds. An umbrella is a nearly perfect creature of consequences, disrupted only by strong winds, which can reverse its structure and function with a single well-placed blow.

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