angel hair and baby's breath.


i went to the seattle art museum. the whole time i've lived here, i might've gone only about four or fives times. as a freshman at s.u., i once had to go for an art history class. i didn't get art history. who the hell cared about tribal clothing, goblets and paintings of fat and pasty white naked women? i had to write five to seven pages about some fucking tablet, and i didn't know what to say about it. i pulled something together, though, and it was good enough to get me a c or a b.

so yesterday i went, for the first time, by myself, as an adult. the other times i've gone it was because someone else wanted to go, and i had nothing better to do. i walked around, skipped all the african tribal stuff, and went straight for the special exhibitions, which focused on kurt cobain and andy warhol. i looked at a picture of kurt cobain, and i figured that music was about as close as i could ever get to appreciating or understanding art. there he was, in that iconic pose, lying down on a trashed drum set, and he was looking at the camera with a look that said, why the fuck am i still alive? i thought back to the times i played guitar with my cousin and all i wanted to do was smash the guitar, break it over my knee, and whirl it around over my head because i sucked, because the world didn't care about me, and because i would never be able to make real music. and i guess that this expression, this need to say something important without actually saying it, that was where art came from.

i didn't get warhol. the whole four prints thing sewn together and then all those black and white videos of just people's faces. i didn't get it at all. who the hell cared about cool white people who lived in new york a long time ago? all i could think of when i read about warhol's factory is the group of kids at every college who are all fucking each other and smoking cigarettes and listening to bands you've never heard of.

then i saw some photographs by amy blakemore, and i liked them. i think i just liked that she got an mfa in photography in the late eighties. that appealed to me for some reason, and i couldn't explain it. i saw this one photograph, and it was just a big open space and there was a woman pushing somebody in a wheelchair, and i thought that was great. then i read that amy had earned a travel grant from some school to go to europe to take more pictures in the early 90's, and i liked reading that. i can only imagine how happy she must have been then, to receive that grant to go do something she loved. and then there was a picture just titled "dad," and i read about how it was the last picture she took of her dad, him on his deathbed. it was real dark and all you could see were his hands, and there were these venetian blinds that looked like the ones in the bedroom i grew up in. i thought it was the saddest fucking picture i had ever seen.

i got out of there, and i received a text from an old friend. fuck off, was all it said.

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