Friday, October 15, 2004

Welcome to dinner

It's Friday evening at the Brooklyn Apartment, and we're having a European festival. Slow-cooked marinara on the stove, with Italian sausage and linguine, Edith Piaf on the stereo, bottle of merlot with Stilton and Carr's wafers for hors d'oeurves (is that how you spell 'hors d'oeurves'? Seems like that many vowels in a row shouldn't be allowed, but it LOOKS okay that way. That's how I spell, by appearance.) Anyway, to continue, at the Brooklyn Apartment the Art has recently been changed, to denote the official Closing of the Gallery, and now I am one of those Private Art Dealers where everything in my apartment is discreetly for sale.

Not really. There are a few pieces I won't part with, like the temple-shaped lacy-cut-out ceramic lamp, and the puppet from Java, and the flying pig. Most of the other stuff I'd let go for an easy grand. I put the big green sun painting above the couch, and lo! it may be sloppy, it may be weird, but it does the thing I painted it to do--it hits the viewer, or at least me the viewer, squarely in the solar plexus with an agreeably buzzy vibrator-like feeling, sort of pre-orgasmically. Subtly so. At least it helped me alleviate my rampant PMS this afternoon, when I hung it there, to the tune of my finally-re-discovered Widespread Panic tape, which had been lodged in the tape player in the gallery lo these many months, as I hunted for it high and low. Oh, I needed that album.

"They say, turn the bright lights on
And there you'll find the truth
They say, open up this book
And there you'll find the proof
If it feels like a can of worms
Keep the lid on tight, and they say
Don't let it get too bright...

I realize that I live my life as though a group of assorted Ph.D's, wastrel poets, French intellectuals and complicated performance artists were perennially invited to an informal supper, even when I'm all alone in my Brooklyn Apartment. I took those "Cosmopolitan" articles very seriously, the ones that say, "Never eat your meals standing up in front of the kitchen sink, or crouched in front of the refrigerator. Set a place at the table, light a candle, make an occasion out of eating alone." Man, I follow those instructions to the letter, every day of my life. I load the Herbie Hancock into the CD player, arrange the mood lighting, put a blend of sweet orange oil, lavender and patchouli into the aromatherapy ring, crack open a bottle of wine and make a date with Helen Santmeyer. "And Ladies of the Club" has been on my bookshelf for the last ten years. Every time I go into a used bookstore I see "And Ladies of the Club" in hardcover for, like, two dollars, and I think that I should get it and read it, then I remember that I've had it for ten years, and now I'm reading it. It's kind of slow.

"They tell me it takes sorrow, boy
To help you feel the joy
They say it takes poverty
To let you love a toy
No! You can't have the gold
Until you've shared the fight
And they say
Don't let her get too sad...

According to my informal personal calendar, I was supposed to go by the ex-Gallery today and pick up my desk, with the help of the ex-Boyfriend. Unfortunately, according to my biological calendar, it is one week before my period, which means that if I had followed my original plan, the ex-Boyfriend might now be hospitalized, and I might now be in jail. Or at the very least there would have been some nasty irreparable damage below the psycho-emotional waterline in one or both of us. I had a very explicit dream, just before waking, warning me of such, and so today I prudently went grocery shopping, and picked up my winter boot at the boot-repair place (the boot-repair guy, although old and foreign, butchered it) and polished the boots, and sewed up the spots where the cats have destroyed the living-room furniture, and sat for an hour with Janice's cat. Nice non-psycho-pre-menstrual stuff.

Now we have Jacques Brel.

"Ne me quitte pas
Il faut oublier
Tout peut s'oublier
Qui s'enfuit deja
Oublier le temps
Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu...

Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas
Ne me quitte pas.

Well, tu m'as quitte, ya. Fuck you. I'll bet, at this very moment, my ex-Boyfriend is eating raw carrots and hummus in his dank little Oliver Twist apartment, with the cracked, dingy, bare walls, the naked linoleum, the bare fluorescent light bulb, in his undershirt. With his miniscule dick hanging out. Oops. I promised myself that I would not realize any of those many and elaborate revenge fantasies, such as posting my ex-boyfriend's impotent dick size in all the ladies' rooms in Williamsburg. Oops.

So, okay, is it not equally pathetic to be eating elaborately alone, with candles and Jacques Brel, as in aforementioned dank little apartment under bare fluorescent bulb? With laptop and imaginary audience for company? Don't answer that.

I don't know how I got onto that track. I was going to use this evening's blog as an excuse for a discourse on the kinesthetics of painting, how painting for me is not primarily a visual phenomenon, but a full-body sort of thing, a dance, a physical relationship, but I think I got too drunk. This is what dinner alone will do for you. You forget to pace yourself, and suddenly you're more than halfway down the bottle of wine that Janice gave you for taking care of her cat. And you are not sufficiently articulate to articulate the paradox of manifesting a kinesthetic effect through a visual phenomenon. It's a bitch.

"Go! Put your work clothes on,
Go and leave your mark!

And they say
Don't let her get too dark...

I wouldn't want you to think I was really a sloppy painter. A narcissistic painter, a painter without regard to the intelligence or sophistication of her audience, an egoistic slob. No. I had something to say about details, about not insulting the intelligence of the viewer, but at the same time, not omitting anything important.

Moi je offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Ou il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre
Jusqu'apres ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D'or et de lumiere
Je ferai un domaine
Ou l'amour sera roi
Ou l'amour sera loi
Et tu seras roi
Ne me quitte pas

I saw Fall last weekend. Neneng-girl got back from Indonesia and we went to her mansion upstate. I cooked all the meals. Halfway through the weekend, Neneng-girl halfheartedly said, "I'll cook for you this evening," but it was easy to convince her that cooking is not a hardship for me, I do it all the time, it's a pleasure to share the food with someone so I don't have to eat the same thing four days in a row.

Can you imagine, my ex-boyfriend actually thought, when I said we were going upstate, that I'd SLEEP in his BEDROOM. He said, "The sheets in the green room are clean." As if I'd take the room with acid-green walls, overlooking the DRIVEWAY, where he always sleeps, instead of the purple one with a view of the mountains and the pink handmade quilt on the bed? Men are such idiots. Taking the green room would only remind me of the last time we slept there, when he went up the day before and got the house clean and the boiler repaired and the fires lit and dinner ready, a romantic weekend with his girlfriend, while I spent my Saturday delivering art in Manhattan and then racing back to Williamsburg without food and giving four massages in a row, and then getting lost and driving three hours, and then being so tired my whole body hurt, while he stayed up in that acid-green room until about three-thirty, with the light on, making horrible torturing noises on the shortwave radio which kept me awake so long that by the time he finally turned the light out I had such bad stomach cramps from rage and frustration that I didn't sleep until 7 the next morning. I didn't actually think he'd dump me if I asked him, "WHY ARE YOU TORTURING ME?" but I didn't ask him and he dumped me anyway.

I am a fool and my next boyfriend will not be like that. My next boyfriend will not expect me to be anything more than an artist. Because this was my fault. I picked a man who matched my projections, inflicted by my parents--that I have to perform daily miracles in order to be accepted for who I am. That I have to run a financially successful gallery within two years of moving to New York City knowing no one, while simultaneously running a full-time healing practice, while simultaneously producing enough brilliant paintings for a one-woman show in any major gallery any time the major gallery happens to ask, while simultaneously being the ideal self-sufficient progressive girlfriend who maintains separate living quarters and is as good as a schizophrenic nymphomaniac in the sack. Or. else. I. get. dumped. And the scary thing is that I almost pulled it off.

1 comment:

Desert Cat said...

With laptop and imaginary audience for company?

Boo! I'm not so imaginary, though disconnected in time--reading and contemplating on the other side of your laptop three years hence, while you enjoy your elegant meal for one plus broken dreams, three years ago.