The sequence when you can’t tell the difference between driving and stopping, or the long gradience in speed before making a perfect turn – these things I admire in the way I operate my car now that I’ve been driving for several years. Particularly when it is timed perfectly with the music. Even when it’s not on beat like some pop-dance. Sometimes it’s more subtle, like the moment before an orgasm. Falling into that niche with an underwater gravity.
That’s what I was thinking as I did those things.
I worked a 10 hour shift, it was one of the easiest because I got to sit down. Got to negative-space out. Gave a tour of the show to Eileen and Keiko, my step-grandma and someone who’s so close in the family she might as well be a step-grandma.
Elizabeth got balloons and chocolate for Vienne who is the best person at my job, probably does more research on the art than all of us combined. Wrote part of a grant application, gave directions, inputted statistical data, read Murakami and talked to Adhit on Gmail chat.
It rained so hard that you could tell who was a tourist and who was a local.
The Knife released a new single and music video and the dopamine probably saturated parts of my being that aren’t even real. Arlene, events coordinator, had to tap me on the shoulder to make fun of me for being so into my spilling-headphones – and ask if the mail had come.
My friends came as the golden hour separated the sky further into beams, storms and foggy mountains. They asked where Axl Contemporary was right now, because Chanupa had a show. They asked if I was going to Upcycle. I said: “Hell no, they have terrible graphic design.”
I am usually right when I judge things on their graphic design, because bad pixel resolution with a recycling logo and some font reeking of “elementary school” generally mean that a similar level of critical thought has gone into the art.
Everyone talked about how cold it was outside – everyone being guests of the museum. – I coldly marked them down in the 1997 cash-register as “Caucasian,” “from Colorado,” and “found out about Site from a NY times article.”
My high school art teacher came in. She would always comment that my art was “flippant” and then give me a lower grade. I wondered if she liked the 70’s conceptual/performance art – they invented flippancy.
To one shivering Ryan I said: “I just got paid $125 for a movie I’m making and was excited to buy alcohol, but then I left the money at home and only had $3 in my account to buy bread for my lunch-sandwich.
Because everyone seemed so cold I wondered if my graphic t-shirt and summer blazer would have an overbearing sense of Scandinavian stolidness.
Vienne proclaimed that she was getting rid of her SITE sweatshirt, and I was happy not to need to be as “STOIC” as my shirt said I was.
I went to “Upcycle”, despite the poor graphics, and was pleased to find some couscous with mushrooms. Someone familiar – like a celebrity – spoke in a cluster of friends and commented on what detailed notes I took on Mungo Thompson during a press walkthrough. She had such a pretty face I couldn’t believe she had noticed anything about me.
When the crowd parted I noticed the full free-bar. They had my favorite beer and locally hand-crafted bottles of spirits. Ryan noted how I hadn’t needed to buy alcohol with my hidden paycheck in the end. I told him about my new free sweatshirt as I took it off.
Iris, the person who had commented about my note-taking, was writing a review of the SITE show, and asked if she could look at my notes. I wondered if she had worked at the gallery I had applied for – she had. She said everyone on staff had been my champion, wanting me to be hired. In the end she said, the owners thought I was “too avant-garde.” She quit the job recently, stating she was “too avant garde.”
Crocket made music in the corner. I texted my dad. I ordered another gin and tonic. Sandra talked about being raised in a traditional Chinese family, and developing a pet allergy. Sandra and I starred in a commercial about “the cure for everything.”
Iris said we’re all damaged or insane or something – I wasn’t taking notes. She wanted a movie recommendation, but not an Iranian or French movie. Her friend said: “How about a movie about Trans and Gay people in Brooklyn?” Iris wondered if it was too late to be questioning her identity as a 28 year old with a 6 year old child. She said she had just broken up with an Italian heir because she “couldn’t get it up for him” and made jokes about bottox. I said: “I am working on vanity wrinkles – I furrough my brow as much as I can to appear intellectual.”
So Iris and I promised to meet virtually, and I took a blurry phone picture of Crocket playing music in the corner as a woman looked at him like he was a sculpture. The art at the show was benign, with adequate composition and not much polish. Turned out it wasn’t part of the show though. I don’t know what was, I guess it was a talk, but I was too busy talking. Also, the free bar was $10. Good thing I didn’t know.
I wanted to have my birthday party in a water-park-hotel, but it was too expensive. I invited people to my birthday party. I went outside to smell the rain-pavement and drive on the rain-pavement.
When you can’t tell the difference between driving and stopping, or the long gradience in speed before making an ideal turn. These things I admire in the way I operate my car, now that I have so much practice. Particularly when it is timed perfectly with the music. Even when it’s not on beat, sqauresville, 4/4 to the metal. Sometimes it’s more subtle, like the moment before an orgasm. Falling into that niche with underwater gravity.
That ecstatic nihilism, where nothing has a place to fall, and it all falls there.
When I got home dad was walking outside naked with a drink in his hand.
The hot tub was glowing purple and I met his friend Emilia.
I listened to “Tooth for an Eye” a few more times.