Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What Makes Art, or Mimi returns to New York, Baffled

So Mimi is back from her adventure in the country, staying with her Hippie cousins just outside Woodstock, where it is still the Sixties. She had her first lesbian experience, a three-way(a beagle and a Mastiff) and returned to the city with full dreadlocks. I was wise enough as a result of my illumination in Bali to recognize I had my mother's genes, so rather than having to deal with her appearance, she came back to me via the groomer, who took seven hours to untangle her, and trimmed her back so she was once again the full, white, unblemished Mimi, like her owner apparently retaining her innocence no matter how hairy her experiences.
That was Saturday. We had our first full walk in the park, where, in spite of the fact that they were supposed to have come down, Christo's Gates were still standing, probably kept up waiting for her and my return. Carleen, whose foster dog Mimi was in my absence, said it looked like Home Depot. I thought rather miles and miles of goalposts painted saffron, on which flapped in a gentle wind, the laundry of a legion of Buddhist monks. A college girl from Denver with two friends who were jubilant because they were paper-bagging 'Forties', which Carleen explained to me afterwards were beers with 40% alcohol, said she liked it because only rich people and musuems could have Monets, but this was art available to all, which would have been a really good argument except: Is this Art?
The city is most jubilant because Christos spent 24 million of his own on putting the whole thing up, nailing the posts into blocks, etc. My question is, doctor, where did he get the 24 million? The city earned 245 million, according to one of the groomers, who opined that Bloomberg was no doubt a happy man as it had brought so many visitors to New York. To look at that. We live in an age of marketing, and someone has done a hell of a job. I then of course asked him, the groomer, an African American with a missing front tooth, as entitled to be considered an expert as anyone in this city, how he felt then about the new sports stadium over which a debate rages re the wisdom of its being built. He did not think it a good idea, because "if you wear the wrong hat to a game at Yankee Stadium you're going to get into a fight, because this is New York and everybody gets mad about something. A whole new stadium would be a battlefield."
I wonder sometimes, often, really, what I am doing here. But then I have the Grace of not being here so often that I have to wonder that too often.
Outside now a small blizzard rages, so I am just reclusing and enjoying the fact that my work is finished, for the time being, and rejoicing in the fact that those closest to me, and smartest, are jubilant over the new book, which is a breakthrough, unique in its construction, the truth in the guise of a novel, beginning as a novel to sucker the reader in, but all of it truth. When I went to visit Don the last time at Westwood Memorial, where Marilyn is, I went to the office and found several vats of hard candy in the waiting room. I took a few pieces and gave one to Jamie as a gift from Don, and said to her 'Apparently grieving people need to suck.' She said "You have to start your next book with that. Grieving people need to suck," she said, and wrote it down for me to keep. I'm not sure I want to start a book with that, especially having written one with complete and absolute honesty. But the best part of the Vanity Fair party was lollipops handed out, semi-transparent, with movie goddesses in them, and I have three which I am saving for trying occasions. But suckering in a reader is devoutly to be wished for. Now all I need is a publisher who is a really ballsy sucker.

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