For a bit in high school, I cleaned toilets on corporate jets. I know it sounds like terrible work, but I was a total aviation nerd. It’s the only time I have been inside a Gulfstream jet. And I can tell you, even in the late 90’s, the interiors on these things were incredible – with enough fold out compartments and gizmos to make James Bond jealous.
The work itself wasn’t so bad, and it did have some unique moments. Like when we emptied a toilet – we’d push a special cart around to the back of a jet, open the access hatch, plug one pipe into the waste port and drain all the business out. Then we’d connect to a different valve and top up the flushing liquid. We’d hand pump this blue stuff – some sort of disinfectant – into the back of the jet. It had a very distinctive smell that I had completely forgotten about.
When I opened the box containing the Mars Yard 2.5 shoes, I was hit with the smell of the same disinfectant. Like Dorothy in Oz, I was teleported by a pair of shoes. I was 17 years old again, standing on a windy Melbourne tarmac, bristling with awe and aspiration. If I could tell myself what the future held, I wouldn’t have believed it. This life turned out nothing like I had planned.
Photo: Tom Sachs
Originally written for the Sachsian Syndicate.
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