I awoke hungover and somewhat ashamed of myself. Walking down a brightly April-sun-lit Wertland past Goth Central, Jenfariello joined me. Together we drank some coffee at Higher Grounds on the Corner. Since watching the Man Ray documentary and selling the embryo painting, I've been keen to start painting again. I'm fully aware that I cannot do this at my current residence. But my experience working on the big rooster at the Downtown Artspace has convinced me I could paint there, that is if I can work more-or-less undisturbed. Today Jen and I worked out a deal whereby I watch the Artspace (selling works to the trickle of customers, etc.) in exchange for being able to use the place as a studio at the same time. As long as MY FRIENDS don't discover this new hangout, all should be well. I intend to work weekdays from the time I get up in the afternoon until about dark. This will be scheduled time away from both computers and socializing. I will be left with nothing to do but play my music loud and paint.
This will be scheduled time away from both computers and socializing.
altered cars and the men who drive themLater, again at Higher Grounds, I ran across Farrell and his friend Jeremy (a handsome young man with a pony tail; he reminds me of a chum I knew in college named Aaron Stark). They were about to drive out to the Volvo dealership beyond the western fringe of town to look at a Spitfire that Farrell is interested in buying. I decided to tag along. We climbed in Farrell's car, his latest car, a small red BMW. Farrell goes through cars faster than he goes through women. With his cars, Farrell has the luxury of being able to physically alter them to make them better match his desires. He likes his cars topless. This usually requires that he saw off the roof. He says that sawing through the thick metal body of a BMW is a completely different experience from sawing through the tinny body of a Volkswagen.
The BMW's transmission was anomalously automatic, a very anti-Farrell feature. He coped with this by shifting the transmission anyway, popping it between D1, D2 and D at the slightest provocation. I used to do that with my Dodge Dart when I first got it, but then one day I overshot and threw it into reverse (it just stalled, but I was scared out of the habit).
He coped with this by shifting the transmission anyway, popping it between D1, D2 and D at the slightest provocation.
In the back of Farrell's racing car, the brisk April air blasted me, sending by hair into such a frenzy that it pelted my face painfully. And I became cold. Poor pitiful me. After all of this, the Spitfire in question was nowhere to be found.
I get nakedBack at the Dynashack, I was rocking out with my guitar when Jacques DeBeaufort appeared. He's been trying to track me down for a week because, as I've said before, he wants to shoot some video of me prancing around dressed only in a layer of red paint.
Despite the uncomfortable chill, he thought today would be a good day to shoot video. So I downed my drink of choice (tea-ified vodka) and hopped into his blue '87 Cadillac. Following my instructions, he drove to the end of Market Street. We walked from there along the railroad grade, across the tressle, to the abandoned factory that had so moved me the night of February 28th. The choice of site was mine; he'd originally wanted to shoot video under the 9th Street and Main railroad bridge. I'm an exhibitionist [and you're a voyeur (to paraphrase Ophelia)] but I didn't want to be quite that exposed.
huh?Why, might you ask, was I willing to humiliate myself so on video? It's an established fact that Jacques is an arrogant, self-obsessed egomaniac (rumour has it that he loudly professed his genius one evening on the Downtown Mall after discovering he'd failed to receive a coveted accolade). But damn it all, Jacques is a very talented artist. And I feel it is my responsibility as a fellow artist to help a talented artist with his artistic projects. I think we both benefit from such collaboration.
Jacques was most impressed with the factory. I'd only been there at night, when it has an ominous, sadly sublime feel. During the day it becomes something else; a sunlit fairyland or old church yard, full of trees and flowers interrupted here and there by brick walkways, the remnants of the old factory floor where, in another age, men shuffled to and fro manufacturing products. What they made and where they went, no one can now say. The fossil record contains only so much information. Above, some of the steel cross-members that once held aloft a roof have fallen and been caught by trees coming from below: the old corroded organs of the machine world supported by the fresh vigourous elements of the natural world.
What they made and where they went, no one can now say.
Here and there among the bits of detritus, there are reminders that in the postmodern age the factory still has human visitors. Broken beer bottles, bits of clothing (a pearly white half-slip for example), and an old discarded condom can be found. The mute walls have stories to tell.
I took off all of my clothes and proceded to paint my body red with cheap acrylic paint. Jacques covered my back, which I could not reach. Then we did a couple scenes, all shot from a variety of angles. My role was that of an evil spirit who mirrors Jacques' activities. Jacques also filmed me prancing around and climbing trees. I found an old red umbrella and used it for a prop during one take. At the end, Jacques filmed me leading him to a little teddy bear which was treated as an idol worthy of worship.
Jacques gave me nothing in exchange for my "acting" though he said I could have the raw footage. I didn't request anything. Elizabeth says she will harass him to give me a case of beer.
The paint didn't wash off all that well. I figure it will come off eventually. There's a bunch still on my back and wound up in my leg hairs.
the sausage partyI set off for the Corner, imagining that I would do some more work at UVA. But as I approached Dead Man's Curve, Josh Smith appeared on his bike and said that, back at his place (the infamous Horrid Crash Pad) a party was happening. It was Austin's birthday. Another Aries makes it through another year without a lethal head injury. As an aside: a year ago at Big Fun, we air signs used to joke that we should go to the hospitals and kill the newborn babies in their cribs. We were vehemently anti-Aries. In May we said the same thing. We were also vehemently anti-Taurus.
In the Horrid Crash Pad, it was the usual mostly-male card-playing scene. The only girls present were both Brazilian Girls. I sat next to them. There are very few boys whom I feel comfortable talking with these days. Especially at the Horrid Crash Pad. Babe Count: 2.00.
Let's see. There was a keg of beer on the back porch, and with a glass of that in my hand, the party seemed to work for me. There was palpable sexual frustration in the room. I'd never perceived it so clearly; I was fascinated! The 30 or 40 year old drunk named Mel (a very black man who is reportedly an amazing pool player) had his eyes on Leticia. He kept staring at her. And when he sat next to her, she tried to maintain a six inch space between him and herself on the couch. This meant that Cecelia was crammed into me on the other end. Cecelia had me pounding out the lumps in her back and tightening her spikes. When Mel tried to join in, well...
Cecelia headed off to work at the C&O and Leticia (being a schoolgirl) set off for home. The Babe Count took a nosedive. Babe Count: 0.00.
Even when the Brazilian Girls were still present, someone had asked Austin, "So, where's the babes?" And Austin had replied that he had called some, and that he didn't know if any were coming. Disgusted, he concluded, "It looks like another sausage party." I looked down at my crotch and felt guilty for what lay unseen between my legs. Then I started laughing hysterically. The rest of the evening, I couldn't say "sausage party" without splitting my gut.
Disgusted, he concluded, "It looks like another sausage party."
Persad, Angela and Aaron arrived (the latter two appear to be happily boyfriend and girlfriend again). Suddenly there was a babe in our midst. I was surfing the sexual frustration like a tsunami and introduced her as "Angela, recently turned 18." I started laughing again like a maniac, losing so much control that I spilled beer all over myself. I asked her what she thought about being the only babe at the party. What could she say? "It's weird," she replied. Babe Count: 1.00
Out on the porch, my drunken mind was in overdrive, and I was reasoning aloud to the amusement of all. I said that since 50% of all people are girls, and since very few were at this "sausage party," the girls had to be somewhere. Maybe they were having a party too, a "canyon party." I imagined what would happen when the skinny dorky pimply pizza delivery guy came to the canyon party door with a stack of pizzas and the boxes of icecream that the canyon partiers had ordered. "You're not leaving so soon are you?" they would all ask in unison, staring him down with moist eyes of seduction. I burst into song,
I said that since 50% of all people are girls, and since very few were at this "sausage party," the girls had to be somewhere.
Eating hotdogs at the canyon partyThe others chimed in while Persad tried to get us, me particularly, to shut up.
Eating hotdogs down at the canyon party
Thadius John Burch was there, being his usual overabundant presence. He was singing with the rest of them, making a'capella sounds to the rap-like beat of my little insta-song. Suddenly he spun around and clocked me in the teeth with his bottle of Private Stock. I was horrified! I shoved him out of the way and feared the worst, recalling the time a similar circumstance destroyed an incisor at a punk rock concert in Blacksburg. Apparently the impact was not quite hard enough, but I was very upset. I told Tad to leave me the fuck alone and keep the hell away from me, though he kept trying to get in my face to apologize.
There was a trickle of girls coming to the party the rest of the night. Austin had been so desperate that he'd even recruited Jenfariello, his old girlfriend. And every girl who came was snagged from the testosterone-clouded fray by yours truely for conversational delights. I can't remember what her name was, but the girl I met at a UVA party some weeks ago was there too. I talked to her quite a lot. Other girls who turned up included Liz, the bleached and tanned alterna-chick who used to ride around on a scooter. She now "goes out" with a guy named Mike who shaves his head. They both used to frequent the crash pad a lot, but now they're doing other thangs, I suppose. She admitted to me that Mike is her boyfriend when I asked her. Babe Count: 3.56
I do not recall how I made it home this particular night.
Earlier today I purchased Where You Been by Dinosaur Jr. at Plan 9 for $7. It came out in 1993. This album has some amazing guitar work on it, more so than in Without a Sound. The guitar is maybe just a little too good. I agree with housemate Steve - I'm not a big fan of showy guitar playing. But the solos and such don't interfere with my enjoyment too much. I'm just reminded yet again of classic rock. The guitar in the first song, "Out There" has a feeling of restrained but considerable power that I love. I want my guitarists to be talented, but I only want to hear brief whispers of their genius, preferably as little fractional chunks of a rythym leaking out between other things. The Neil Young influence is still apparent. Now you can even hear it in some of the vocals, especially in "Not the Same."
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