Archive for April 2010

Examining the A-R-T in Heartbreak

April 30, 2010

Ah yes. Well, see: the thing about art is….art’s quite pleased with itself.

But I’m not quite so sure…
Not that it matters to art. I’m quite sure it doesn’t. Art will go on without me; bubbling around the room pointing people in the direction of the beerfridge, and ashing out on the floor.

Yes, art is quite pleased with itself.

Tonight I went to see art. I tend to feel as though I don’t give art enough attention; that the strains in our relationship can be traced back mostly to me, and my failure to commit to art.  So tonight I tried really hard and I got myself together. I wiped off all the eyemakeup that had been smudged and erased in the full agitation of an aggravated  allergy. I carefully retraced the eyes and smudged only where shadows would naturally occur. I didn’t bother changing my clothes but I made sure to look decent; I wore heels and sprayed perfume as I headed out the door. I wanted to look good for art. Art was there; waiting for me and I couldn’t let it down.

I rode my bike to the openings. When I arrived, I carefully locked it up, and then rechecked my makeup in my compact–I couldn’t arrive windblown and glistening.
I crossed the street; open, and ready.
My movements, my behavior were the very embodiment of the verb ‘peruse’. I made full use of it’s associations of scrutiny, curiosity, reflection, and a tempered pace. There could be no hurry; this was my time with art.

Many others had shown up to recieve art, and ultimately, to be recieved by it. They milled around smoking and drinking cheap beer. They looked very pleased with themselves and I thought how well they belonged with art; art had taught them well.

The more I wandered–the more I perused–the less comfortable I felt in art’s presence. Slowly it came upon me; the tired refrain of our relationship.
Oh yeah, I thought to myself, I really can’t stand you.

Art, if this is the best you have to give to me tonight, then I won’t be staying.
What is this arrangement of little gray, plaster, oddshapes exhibited around the room? What? You want praise for this, do you? Or then you bring my attention to an arrangement of old electrical parts–context is everything!
you say. They might be old electrical parts–but they’re here. In the gallery. Arranged this way by me. Art.

You warm at the sound of your own name. I want to close my ears, turn down the volume–I can’t stand you when you talk this way. But I can’t. It doesn’t matter anyway, in this moment you are all I see around me.

I see how well you get on with your friends. They are young and have glasses and they have moved to Berlin from America to faciliate discussions on what it’s like to be from Manhattan.

Context, again, you smile. They had to come to Berlin to know that that’s what they wanted to talk about. They had to be here to find each other. They live in self-imposed exile from a very special island. Be nice to them.

Art leads me around the room. I tell it I’m going and Art looks back in shock. I have caught it’s attention.

Too soon! it cries. Don’t go yet–there’s still the performance!

The performance will begin approximately 1-1.5 hours late. We both know this. Art makes no promises to entertain me in the intervening time. I tell art that I don’t want to wait; art asks me what I’ve got to rush off to? The truth would be to say ‘something I enjoy’ but I don’t bother. I know art. I remember art. Art assumes you have all the time in the world. Art never thinks there’s anything else worth my time. It tells me to relax and have a beer.

I don’t drink beer, I remind it. Art rolls it’s eyes.
Everybody drinks beer
, dismisses art.
Oh well, art tells me, come down the street; we have some wine down there.

Art fetches me a plastic cup of bad white wine. For art, art has really bad taste in wine. Always goes for the schlock.

Good for the image, it reminds me.

At the end of the day, art’s really pretty down-to-earth, and is happy with anything that brings a buzz. Art has for a long time now, been on icy terms with it’s cousin, taste.

I put down my glass.

Listen, art, I say, I really think I’m gonna head out now. Thanks.

Art is slightly confused; art thought we were having fun. It never really understands why someone would want to leave it’s party, but then again it won’t give itself wrinkles trying to figure that one out.

As I head towards the door art is already kissing some new, young, blonde thing on the forehead–welcoming her. She is from Manhattan. So is art!

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Keep It Clean: Re-heating Your Sanity Through Domestic Devotions

April 27, 2010

I’m a nester. I like nesting. I like to nest.
The obvious comparison then for me, is a bird. Birds nest. So do rats and other vermin, but screw them.

Going with the birds then, if I were to compare my nesting with that of a bird, then I would go so far as to compare myself in this way to a bird of paradise.

I’ve seen videos of the way those creatures tuck and tidy in their little grottos and I tell you they look just like me.

Watching such footage, though, I couldn’t help but wonder just how they discern what in their lair amounts to garbage, and what are the, uh…load bearing leaves shall we say?

How does a bird of paradise discriminate between a stray twig and a bit of rustic moulding?

I mean some things I can see; you got a monkey come and shit up in your house you’re gonna want to have that shit removed. I mean, I’m assuming they don’t make frescos with it…..I have been lead to understand that most animals have a sort of natural revulsion to shit. Shit is out. Shit didn’t make the cut. Scat can scram…

Every morning I get up and make my bed, and refold and tidy up the blankets and pillows that line my nest. I go into the kitchen and clean whatever dishes managed to soil themselves since dinner, then I round up any rubbish that will need removing before finally processing myself for public appearances by way of shower and makeup.

Lately, though, the nesting has been on overdrive. No, no. I’m not pregnant. I’m just sick. Or rather I’ve been sick. Allergies and some kind of mean little flu. And then before that I was travelling for a couple of weeks. Illness, The Road….both can lead a girl to wonder where she is on waking up in the morning.

Normally after being away I need to jump right back into my routine to feel myself. Coming down with the flu within a day or two of returning from Sarajevo–in addition to my annual springtime allergies–ruled that out.

I turned to the oven for redemption.

Alone in Germany–too sick to work, if not sick enough to lie in bed all day–my sense of competence had taken a beating. Banana bread, brownies, fruit salad with ginger & mint syrup, chicken soup, mushroom risotto…recipe by recipe, dish by dish I affirmed my identity–I searched out my worth with a spoon. As my eyes cried the tears of allergy season and my brain clouded with fever, I held onto the range for my sanity.

Deep in the dishwater I saw my reflection. I scrubbed another knife clean as somewhere in the background Beyoncé kept the beat with a frank discussion of video phones. I thought of the bird of paradise and wondered if he too ever dances, even as he cleans?

Disclaimer: That is clearly NOT my photo.