The Way Things Go

In the middle of the night while I was away I got a series of text messages from a (likely intoxicated) friend in Denver. He was at a bar and spotted The Esquire, the guy I hit it off with last fall, and the one who subsequently broke my intentional dating dry spell.

That guy lasted exactly two dates, and he turned out to be all wrong. Example: “So you’re into art… What do you think of Cy Twombly?” “Oh! [gush, gush, gush — for details see yesterday’s post],” etc. “Really? It’s, like, scribbles. I could do that with some crayons on a Macaroni Grill table…” Etc. I’m sure I could have overlooked differences on Mr. Twombly, but as it turned out, our political and religious beliefs were pretty much polar opposites. He was funny, but also kind of a jerk. He was hugely amused by talking like he was of a different race. And I went on a second date why? Some things never make sense. It may have had to do with his insistence to pay for everything always no matter what and take me out to very nice restaurants — sadly, this was just another sign that he was not my kind of guy. I like balance. And wearing jeans.

Anyway, that ended somewhat abruptly and disappointingly. And I pretty much immediately started dating someone else, and that was also wrong and ended somewhat abruptly and disappointingly. And I pretty much immediately started dating another someone else, and, well, you know the trend. (Sorry, I’m not masochistic enough to actually find links to all of those blog posts).

I’m tired now. I feel like the last several months have been a big chain reaction, all initiating with The Esquire. Of course that’s too simple — there have been good times, bad times, notably good dates, notably bad dates, and even a stab at a decent, if brief, near-relationship with a more-than-decent person. It’s not like it was this inevitable Rube Goldberg contraption that started with the Esquire and is ending now.

(Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go), 1987)

It just kind of happened. I feel like that night meeting the Esquire (at the Thin Man, with a friend), then getting those texts 10 months later (from the Thin Man, and from the same friend) are the bookends on this chain of events. Maybe it’s over for now. Not dating, but this kind of tumultuous period of my life, the falling from one not-quite-right thing into another. Maybe. Probably not. But I feel pretty comfortable just leaving it alone right now, letting it happen or not, just being again.

One of the books I read last week was Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It is raw and honest, funny and a tad catty. It induced tears and laughter, but mostly laughter. Out-loud laughter in public places, even. She has a great sense of humor, and also a lot of insight, and she makes me a little jealous (in an admiring sort of way). There’s an essay about dating and the sentimental objects (namely plastic ponies) that are left in its path, and it ends with this: “The real proof that I have tried to love and that people have tried to love me back is never going to fit in a kitchen drawer.” And really, that’s what we’re trying to do, isn’t it? Trying to love and be loved, mostly failing (at least romantically, until we finally don’t), but trying again all the same…



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4 responses to “The Way Things Go

  1. For the record “anyone could draw that” is not an excuse to dismiss an artist. You hear that all the time but in reality ANYONE can do ANYTHING. You can say that of a neurosurgeon or an activist. The question is ARE you doing it? Do you have the COURAGE to do it? Or the creativity? Or just the time of day? I tell myself over and over again (and having taken many art classes and met many artists in art school) that it’s discouraging to be an artist because “everything has already been done and why bother” but the truth is that maybe what you might create may only be a little different than so-and-so, but that’s not the point.

    I guess the same can be said for any creative type (writer, dancer, musician). Once I discovered that being original was not necessarily the goal. Nor was really being clever–or being good, even. The goal was just to create. In creating something you become an artist. So yes…anyone can do it. Even The Esquire at the Macaroni Grill with crayons. In fact many artists urge people to be more creative like that. To pick up a crayon and go crazy or the salt shaker or whatever.

    But yeah…art is so subjective. I have no idea why I’ve always created representational work. I had a friend say they were surprised that my work was fairly straightforward. I don’t know. Even “straightforward” artwork can leave room for interpretation.

    p.s. I don’t think I could be with a funny jerk either. Hehehee…


  2. Bomboado

    This is a beautiful post. Bookends, indeed.

  3. jfochek

    I second Bomboado, Leslie. This is an amazing post. Thank you for creating and sharing it!

  4. Well, the esquire is a fun bar anyways.

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