Here’s what I’d write you if I knew you, if I knew I loved you, if I knew you loved me:
I’ve been thinking of you here in Cleveland. I miss you. your taste, smell, eggs. Today I overslept. You would have been proud (let go of the puritanical work ethic for a sec) but I missed Jeff’s breakfast club. It’s been a wild weekend already. Some moments:
--Smelling one of these purple roses in the garden. It smelled like what you think an old French lady’s boudoir should smell like.
--Breakfast with photographer and SPACES board member, Sam, who, upon seeing a purple plastic baby on the street picked it up and said, “this is for you.” I brought it back and put it on my little altar with the white whale that the girls love and Wink’s clay bird of hope.
—the Cav’s winning last night! Go Cavs! Defend the land!
—the sweat behind my knees after trying to bike to the Target but bailing out once I realized I was about to get on the highway.
—Douglas Max Utter. The man is an angel, or better put, a most human human. He picked me up in his Toyota and off we went to his studio on the East side. I sat on his chaise lounge and almost instinctively lay down on it like a therapist's couch. I can't say why--maybe it was the ease of the man himself, the fact he liked astrology and Carl Jung, or maybe it was the content of his paintings—almost surreal ghost like figures with spray paint eye sockets. His stories about living on East Houston street back in the day made me feel like I was right back in the middle of a Samuel Delaney memoir which then made me feel like José Muñoz was still alive and I was 27 again and Obama was president and fascism was a word with an expiration date circa 1945.
What’s love now? I know you make me happy, despite it all. I listen to Patti Smith’s Horses and wish I smoked. I read Zadie Smith’s Swing Time and wish I was a better write. I eat watermelon and wish I was a better cook.
Liz, an artist here, last night explained how she enjoyed our conversation, “it feels nice,” she said, “I can say somebody’s name to you, like, I don’t know, Richard Diebenkorn, or whoever, and you’ll know who I mean, what I’m talking about.” I don’t think she knew that inside I breathed a sigh of relief that in fact, I did know Diebenkorn’s work—the shadows, the California compositions—thanks mostly to my mom’s friend Eddie, who, along with my Dad, was entirely responsible for my art history education. You’ve met Eddie right? You liked him I think, said he reminded you of a smarter, taller, Robert Redford who wasn’t as into horses. Anyway, still fighting that uphill battle to remember that I’m not necessarily dumb and ugly and that I don’t need to spend so much time convincing people that I’m not.
Thank you for being the kind of person who understands that I need to go away sometimes. I get freaked out thinking that I’m too much of a hermit to be a real woman but you always make me feel like I’m the most normal person you’ve ever met which is honestly the greatest gift.
How’s the painting? Did you read the poem I sent you by Margaret Atwood? I’ve been imagining you here, how much space you’d take up in the cottage and how into all the detritus you’d be around the city. I miss your sense of direction here too. You wouldn’t believe how turned around I’ve gotten. If you were here right now I’d boil you an egg and then we’d have a whiskey and go dancing. Or just stay in. I’m thinking about your wrists, feeling them wrapped around my ankles, pulling me onto a bed as vast and deep as the ocean. I want to kiss you in Cleveland. I want to kiss you goodnight. But instead, I’ll finish this article and sleep. It’s good. You are so wonderfully, infinitely, distracting.
P.S. The studio, for you: