last night jade and i met after work for a seemingly naive and innocuous swing by art opening that turned into a surreal event of judgment.
first, to combat the inertia and laziness. jade had labored all day (saturday too!) hanging sheetrock, and i had traced all over the bronx in search of secret nyc green carts for a photo assignment. we were both beat and the trek from chelsea to deep alphabet city (avenue D and east 3rd) without a cab is something that would make the most energetic new yorker shudder.
but i had that little fairy called guilt and 'my word' hanging over my head to crack the whip and drag jade down the sidewalk toward a strange apartment building with absolutely no indication it contained an art gallery within. if i didn't have a copy of the invitation in my hand i swear i would have turned back thinking i had the wrong address. which is precisely what jade tried to get me to do. but after that walk? no way.
we tiptoed up the stairs and behold--aymar ccopacatty's show. sometimes, and these times come more rarely after thirteen years in the city, new york gives you a precious memory of what it felt like when you first landed here. where every staircase leads to an exciting mystery and a turn of a corner leads you somewhere that feels like another world. these moments are beautiful.
and there was aymar, dressed in his peruvian hat--not the knitted kind with llamas, but the leather kind that stands up to the austrailian or cowboy variety--knitting from a ball of shredded blue tarp spun yarn around his neck, surrounded by his awesome pieces woven from trash hung on cavases like paintings. though showing at 'a gathering of tribes' gallery, they managed to completely jump from the context of folk art into conceptual. a beautiful triumph and synthesis of his gemini split upbring in rhode island and peru. jade thanked me for dragging him there and declared it the best show he'd seen in a long time (naturally other than the ones we've just labored all summer over--but he's too modest to include those...).
having lasted the day on one peanut butter and jelly sandwich each, jade and i eventually migrated to the cheese and wine room. it was there that someone asked me to reach behind where i stood to grab his jacket. this one? i asked. and he gasped in mock horror: acid wash?! what do you take me for?
and i'd had enough wine to launch kitty joe style into a story. now, perhaps i haven't been writing enough drivel on my blog. you know, my blog is actually a tool of pity for those who surround me in daily life. it works as a filter so that i have somewhere to outlet these stupid memories and associations that i find so very important, thus saving the spoken world from my trivialities. the look of sheer boredom on the surrounding folks faces reminded me of this fact. and so, i'll double whammy and share here too. so this is what i said:
when i was in junior high, i wanted a jean jacket desperately, feverishly. i had no hope of attaining said object of luxury as it was not in the realm of mervyn's or the outlets (this was when you had to drive to san leandro to the outlets and they were in disparate wherehouses, not in strip malls). and then lo and behold, for reasons completely unbeknownst to me, my parents surprised me with the coveted jean jacket--just slipped it into my bedroom as if it had always been there. their expressions were proud and happy, but my stomach sank.
it was acid-washed. it was all the rage. but i hated acid-wash. i didn't listen to vanilla ice--i listened to the cure! how could this happen to me?! my dream come true turned into a nightmare.
but i was a good kid. a super guilty and obedient kid, and i understood very well that my parents were making a very special gesture. and i'd better show some gratitude fast. it even makes me squirm to admit this to this day. but i'm such a sucker for a story i just can't help myself, and maybe it's even a little theraputic to get it off my chest. though no need to alert said parental units if they're not already spying this.
so i wore that jacket every day to school for two years. i mean, i didn't actually have a choice--it was the jacket.
so two things happened when i told the story. for one, at the anti-climactic end, a tumbleweed cut through the clouds of east village art gallery smoke and rolled through the suddenly silent room.
and another, more horrific: when i set the scene and said,
'when i was in junior high in 1988....'
one of the dudes standing behind the bar gasped and yelped, far too enthusiastically,
'oh my god, i was only born the year before!!!'
which activated my super lazer eyes which accidentally burned him to a crisp on the spot.
ladies and gentlemen, i've gotten really old. i don't know how it happened, but it's true.
and i'll leave the second story for later because that's about all of the typing my arthritic hands can manage for now.