The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 100
The fall art season—the beginning of the tourist season in the high desert—was still months away. I had plenty of backlogged pieces to cover the two venues in which I was exhibiting but the work I’d done with Juliette was overtaking them in terms of direction, personal interest, even quality.
The prints I’d made of our collaborative work were stunning, but I didn’t want to stop at showing just those. I wanted context, action. I wanted to go a step further. So early one evening I wrote her a private email about it. Her response was instantaneous:
“Feeling so yuck tonight. But yes, you can transfer any GIF to DVD. But wait, go here (a link to some NASA livestream) now!”
It was a weather satellite launching from, I don’t know, somewhere. I caught it at about T minus 3 minutes. At 2 minutes the mission was scrubbed. Internal malfunction.
Me: Bummer. Still, pretty exciting…
I told her I was sorry she felt so yucky, then went on to describe my vision for the art shows: a collection of our collaborative pieces, of course, but in addition to those, and on three, 60”, wall-mounted flat screen TVs per venue, her GIFs. Six total. Anything she wanted. New work. Old work. Experimental. Whatever.
Juliette: (Depressed, maybe, about the aborted launch) No no no. The collaborative stuff is all yours. It’s all public domain anyway. My throat is full of blisters. Liquid diet. Erosion. Stress. Problems with my business but I’ll be fine. I’m always fine, you see.
Uh… what? Look, I wasn’t playing the sympathy game. But this—whatever this was—wasn’t that. This was more like: “Get lost, creep.” Yeah, it was less than straight up. Straight up I can handle, like when a dame looks you in the eye and says: “Listen, Rico, we’ve had some laughs, yeah?” But I guess honesty, or what passes for honesty, went out of style sometime before my time.
Wait. Was she metaphorically saying she was sick of sucking my cock? My ART cock? Is that what the throat blisters thing meant or was it a real symptom of…
Now I was sick. Sick of guessing.
Acceptance isn’t easy. A locked door made of steel. You find the key, open it, walk out, close it, lock it behind you, throw the key in a deep pond.
When I returned that Jeep Cherokee to the dealership circa ’97 or so, it wasn’t due to my failing vision. I wasn’t that blind, yet. It was because I felt personally violated, insulted and embarrassed by everything about and connected with the oil industry—the earth rape; the indigenous species abuse; the atmospheric poisoning. All that plus a ravenous, parasitic network of industrial, political, administrative, regulatory, lobbying and propaganda agencies piled on top, feeding off suckers like me. I saw my own hypocrisy, and the futility of remaining in the room with any of it.
Same thing now, with Juliette.
Conjuring up El, the I Ching, acceptance, stepping into the clear light of present moment awareness was the easy part. Letting go of the key…
Me: I DO see. Perfectly. Thank you.