Everybody Likes Whatever This Thing Is

Does anyone know what this collection of magnetized metal bits and geegaws could possibly be?


Back in July, when I moved into this office, I found numerous traces of its previous occupant. She was a graphic designer, and she left behind a drawing table, several sample books of paper stock, and this thing.

This thing, whatever it is, comprises a base of some kind, an axle, a spring, two things that look like allen keys, two other things that look a nail that forgot itself halfway through and decided to become an allen key, one nut, eight rare earth magnets, three crinkled little heavy gauge snips of wire, two other layered disc-like objects that defy description, and five objects that I think of as overly confident washers. And it comes in a dark velvet carrying bag, which would be handy if I had any idea what this thing was.

Every so often I sit down and try to assemble the thing in various ways, but it never ends up as anything more than something Duchamp might have knocked together in his sparest of spare times. It serves as a rebuke to my ambitions of living in a three-dimensional world.