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Why Silicone Release Paper Matters 6

You’re 19 and you’re becoming the third roommate in your friends’ apartment. It’s an ancient building, with concrete walls and at least a hundred layers of white paint, some covering areas where the paint below has visibly chipped. The lighting has a dim, burnt-orange hue to it and the sun and sets far away from any windows. It’s more of a cave than a home.

It’s ugly. But it’s yours. Or at least 1/3 yours. And after you and your friends finish moving your furniture and 12 more boxes than you expected into this building, you flop onto your bed and stare up at the spider-cracks along the graying white ceiling. The whole apartment has the musty smell of stale air that permeates past the wafting aroma of pizza and beer – bribes to get your friends to work as your move-in men.

Sticky Tape

First thing tomorrow, you’re getting posters to cover those walls. It doesn’t even matter what they’re pictures of. Anything to add some color and depth; something for the light to reflect off of.

You sleep well in a room that’s 100% your own, and in the morning, stumble your way around man-sized boxes that will remain unpacked for at least a month. After surveying exactly how much stuff you own, you feel guilty about adding to your already substantial material burden. But those walls in your new place can’t sit around all empty and desolate – this is an occasion worth celebrating and even an ancient building has a spark of fun left in it.

You hunt for a variety of posters, tolerable paintings, and picture frames, moving from one thrift-store to the next as you find the very cheapest pieces of art. You even pick up a tool kit on the way back, feeling pretty satisfied that you are fully capable of adult decisions.

But as you stand before your graying, cracking wall, you remember that concrete doesn’t exactly take nails well. It’s a careless mistake, and if you had just thought it through, you could have planned this better. You grind your teeth as you stare at your artwork, gathering the courage to make your way back outside. You try to figure out a casual excuse to offer your roommates so that they won’t find out about your dumb move. “Oh, I was just picking up more pizza,” or “You know, I prefer to do things in two trips anyway.”

One of your roommates passes by your door as you glare at your blank wall, with frames leaning against your leg, digging into your calf. He steps in to stare at the wall alongside you, as if wondering what offensive thing it said to receive such hatred from your posture.

“We have double-sided tape, you know,” he says.

“Oh, yeah?” you reply. “I’ve used it, but I just don’t see it holding up heavy paintings.”

“Let me show you.” He grabs a painting with a particularly heavy frame and brings it over to the card table that acts as your dining room table. He disappears to the closet for at least 10 minutes, and you swear you hear an avalanche happen from inside there.

But your friend returns with the brightly white-coated tape held high in his hand. He easily cuts the tape into strips that line the back of the frame. Then he peels off the white, glossy paper and hands you the painting.

“You have to hold it to the wall for, like, 30 seconds, but I swear it won’t come down.”

“How do you know?” you ask, touching the tacky tape with your fingers. It sticks more effectively than you expected and you really have to pull to get your fingers off of it.

He smirks. “Because I did the exact same thing last year, and none of the paintings have fallen off my wall.”


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