It all started with this tree to be honest….
I had just spent the last couple of hours with my mother. I had dreaded the day. She was bringing back a cat, aka the Scourge from Hell, she had adopted from the humane society back in June. I had had to listen to the daily horror stories of broken dishes and lamps and bites to the head and how she was jumping on top of the refrigerator knocking things over as well as constantly running between her feet as she walked. Now my mom is 81 and not very stable as it is and I was literally waiting for the “witty (sob, sob), I just fell and broke my hip” call. As it was, she had already wrenched her back trying to avoid stepping on the cat in her bedroom a couple of weeks ago. So this last week, she finally wisely decided to take the cat back. Oh the guilt! But I told her, perhaps a little too snappishly, that this one was just too active for someone of her age.
So I brought Guardcat’s cat cage over to her house since the cardboard one they had given her back in June had only contained “Psycho” for only about 1 minute and then she had escaped, as in she had jumped up on the dash board and was running around the vehicle at about 250 mph in traffic. Its truly amazing my mom didn’t crash her car.
So the day was rough. My mom was crying…that is until we went to the humane society and she was able to play with about 45 cats in two large rooms for about an hour and a half. She kept saying she wanted “pretty cats” instead of the “compatible” cats. Isn’t that what dudes say, Mom? Anyways, she eventually went home empty handed, but hopefully she’ll come to her senses and get one of the older cats who will sit and watch “American Idol” with her.
Anyways, after all the emotional turmoil in the afternoon with my mom and jumping over cats of every size and shape at the humane society (and yes, of course I totally love cats and played with lots of them), I really needed to take some time to regroup.
I’ve been very very very stressed out about losing my disability recently. “A”, after one appointment after a year on Tuesday, said I’m all better mentally evidently and said if asked by the government, he will tell them accordingly. If I lose my disability, I will also lose my health insurance and when you have cancer, or at least the possibility of it and have to go get $3300 x-rays every 3 months (along with a myriad of other appointments), the thought of losing your insurance is pretty fucking scary. So I’ve been crying ever since he sent me an e-mail to that effect Wednesday afternoon. Thanks “A”.
So I went to our nearby lake for a walk. It was really busy because it was a beautiful summer day. Naturally I had my camera with me. Its like permanently attached to my hand, kinda like you yuppies and your cell phones.
Anyways, I saw this tree (see above). Recently when I was in my nekkid drawing class I had been bored drawing this certain model who was standing there with her arms raised above her head. Sometimes witty is naughty. She’ll do things like draw horns or spikes on models or write something like “I wonder if I have a spine” down the back of a male model. Anyways, with this particular model I had drawn her arms raised upwards and then started adding branches growing out of her body, kinda like a naked model tree!
And I wasn’t even stoned!
I actually liked the idea so much I’ve been thinking of doing a painting. Anyways this tree looked a lot like that particular drawing. The shape was almost identical. So I was standing there shooting the photo when suddenly I hear this male voice with an English accent say, “Why are you photographing a tree?” It startled me 1) because, as you know if you’ve read me for a while, I think that I’m invisible, so when somebody acknowledges that I’m there, I’m usually pretty startled 2) He was way closer than I realized, as in standing right next to me. 3) What a strange question to ask. I’m just photographing a tree.
And before I knew it, this tall British guy, who I had actually seen sitting on a bench when I sat down just five minutes earlier, was standing RIGHT THERE and he was incredibly verbose, telling me he was a writer, and then breaking out into this lengthy hilarious “Roses are read, violets are green…” poem about a shopkeeper breaking dishes and cats jumping over taxis. Who knows. He even managed to interject the word “genitalia” in there, although I can’t remember in what context. I was just standing there with my camera nervously clutched in my hand, looking at him, wondering what part I was playing in all this. He then wanted to guess what astrology sign I was and actually nailed it. Aquarius. WTF! I said I thought he was probably a Gemini because he talked so much. He said I was close He was on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer. He asked what I did. My stock answer now is “artist”. I don’t actually make my living at it, but its my vocation. And he asked about that. How can you make a living at art?
Pretty cheeky there, Brit Boy! How do you know I’m not like some famous woman tree photographer or Picasso’s great step-grand niece.
He was talking so fast and fluidly and leaping from subject to subject, I was having a bit of a problem keeping up. There was a brief jaunt into psychotherapy. My quote: “Therapists are paid friends”. He didn’t agree. He wondered how hard it would be to find an illustrator for his children’s book. Are you trying to pick me up, dude? I mean, professionally? And then we were talking about biorhythms. I wondered aloud why mine were always below the line instead of above the line. He didn’t know. And then he asked me what I was doing with my life.
Yikes? Do I even know? True I just got a letter which has given me a full grant for 2 classes a semester through Spring of 2010 towards my long awaited Bachelor’s degree in art. But instead I chose to remain mysterious. I told him I was walking. Just walking. I think he was perplexed. Or maybe that I was really deep or something. Or was possibly that I was just avoiding the real question since I didn’t know who the hell this British Guy was or why he was asking me all these probing questions.
He then asked me to sit down. The blissful, we-just-met-and-this-is-going-well did slow down noticeably when we sat. In fact, there was like a full moment of silence. I could feel the breeze blowing off the lake through my hair. Fortunately he finally started chatting again about the boats out in the lake. I told him I liked kayaking. He said his kids “liked to fucking jet ski since it was better than talking to each other. ”
I then noticed he started patting the pocket in his shirt intermittently. I knew what that meant. Pat, pat, pat. We chatted a little more. Pat, pat, pat. And then he said, “Do you smoke?” and I said, “No.” and he said, “I better go.”
Just.like.that. A whole relationship played out in a matter of 15 minutes. The blush of first love. Intense interest in what each other has to say. Sitting down, as familiarity takes hold, talking like an old married couple. And then the one thing we always knew we never had in common, suddenly hits our “relationship” like a meteor and it was over!
He never even asked me my name.
In other news, I had some guy with a blue painted face come up to me at an art’s festival last weekend. He asked if I wanted to come paint a man in this certain art gallery. I know the gallery. The woman who runs it had actually expressed some interest in my work last November and was going to come to my house to look at my work but then I got the cancer and we never connected. Naturally I said yes. I always want to paint men. 🙂
So I went up to the gallery. Little did I know that I was going to…well you’ll see…
actually paint a man. See, if the damn British Guy had played his cards right….