Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Chapter Three - Artwork, and The Top Ten Reasons My Mother Will Never Talk To Me Again

In the midst of my week from hell, there were a few saving graces. First of all, kids and wife - adorable. Second, the parties I catered, even though they were somewhere in the middle of a chaotic mess, went remarkably well. Walmart executives, a financial consulting firm, a random collection of Woodlynde alumni, and a birthday boy were singing our praises as we skulked in and out of each function as quickly as possible. Third, I was the lucky recipient of two pieces of artwork as the week dragged on. The first (pictured on the top of this blog) I found on the inside of a case of red peppers packaged by a company named Vantaggio all the way out in sunny California. I was so tickled by it, that I actually brought it home to take a picture of it... not because it was such a marvelous piece of work, or I was so intrigued by the O'Keeffe-esque sexuality of the piece, but more that it was such an unexpected surprise. I wondered all day how I was fortunate enough to get this particular box, or if some mad scribbler had spent the whole day drawing on the inside of cardboard pepper boxes before he/she sealed them up. Was it the outburst of a struggling artist just longing to create? An ill-conceived anatomy lesson in the middle of an otherwise uneventful pepper-packing-plant day? Perhaps it was created by a young man named Steve, trapped in an endless sea of red peppers only hoping that his girlfriend Monique would still be there waiting for him when he got home to soothe his aching feet and gently wash his produce stained hands before serving him a delicious pepper-free meal and letting him have the last Miller Light while they watched CSI Miami together.... or will Monique have gotten tired of his endless talk of peppers and box folding, and left to go north with Anthony, who shucks oysters all day, smells of the sea, and prefers CSI New York.... or maybe it was a twelve year old with a sharpie... either way, in the middle of a shitty day it cracked me up, which is almost as valuable as finding a copy of the Declaration of Independence taped to the back of a painting of dogs playing poker that you get at a garage sale.

The acquisition of the next piece was a bit more complicated. As simple as it seems, I had two different artists involved and 75 minutes of time... and at 3000 injections a minute, somewhere in the neighborhood of 225,000 wee little holes. Not to sound too much like Peter Trachtenberg, but it was a journey of sorts. For one simple little thing, I put in years of thought... not about the final piece, but the idea of it. The journey, I understand, is what's important - and at the moment I'm left with a marker of the trip.... four, actually. One to remember what I felt slipping away, one for being saved, one for luck, and one for my children. Anyway, after a little anxiety and some last minute modifications we got started... at first it's like a flu shot, and after about five minutes it's a burn that won't stop. For the next half an hour or so it's excruciating, and then, out of the blue, euphoria.

Unfortunately, for about a week or so it feels a bit like, oh, I dunno, someone just poked 225,000 holes in your arm. Plus for some odd reason, you're left with this nagging feeling that your mother will never go swimming with you again, and will look at you like you're an idiot next time she sees you. If for some odd reason this is the case, two things - 1. Just in case she doesn't know, I adore my mother more than the air I breathe. 2. Her grandchildren are too adorable, and I am holding them hostage.

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