I looked over two estate sales today at the auction houses. Michael Crichton… his collection seemed smart and corporate-literate. As though he’d had an advisor, and his own point of view in a way… scientifically collected, with a few impulse-buys. One wonders about these celebrities…doesn’t he have a family, don’t these things have personal value or do they pay tribute by having the public bidding on a piece of their life, in plain view—I mean, it’s not like a piece of Elvis or Marilyn Monroe… does the provenance provide security? I’d feel better with a picture from an artist, someone who knows.
Then there was Nina Abrams… a world-class human. Her ‘collection’ was all over the place, from Picasso and Warhol to stuff made by the school janitor. That makes her a good person. I poked through one of those Christies jumble sales… lives there, the way you see cartons of books in cheap thrift shops… filled first with college texts, then books on investing money, mortgages, then wedding planners, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Private School Catalogues, then a bunch of novels, self-help and diet books… in the end some books about dying and meditating and Illness as Metaphor… then the carton. Done. My kids won’t even bother putting them in a carton--- they’ve already assured me everything will be in a dumpster next day while they put a cinema-sized flatscreen on the wall with whatever pathetic IRA money I may or may not have left.
Still, I look at the paintings… a few estates with good stuff in crummy frames because they cared about the art, not the décor. I like to find things. The galleries and big sales are riddled with landmines and holes, re-packaged gum wrappers and inflatable toys, but I can still hear some things calling me with a bell-clear voice. Which gets hard amidst all the hype and drama. Noise in our culture. No wonder no one can see straight. We give up listening.
That girl that got herself killed on the 6 train because she jumped down to get her phone… she wasn’t listening. Except for her ringtone. A man who came into the station just after it happened said he saw her arms sticking up—like a mannequin… he thought it was a dummy or a doll— a set maybe. I was in the train behind, cursing and stuck with the other pissed-off passengers until they made an announcement. Then the noise stopped. For a few minutes, anyway.
Yesterday I was on that platform.. like nothing happened… thinking there must have been tiny residual bits of flesh and body that got eaten by the rats. They have no way of judging. In a way this is all the democracy left.
I came out of my friend’s gallery in Chelsea and there was an ambulance--- a body on a gurney, covered-- you get that feeling, that sick feeling—it could be you-- 20 minutes ago that person was looking at a painting and a chandelier fell on their head… or an elevator malfunctioned… or their heart just got sick of the overtime…whatever. Then I realized… someone was directing---it was all being filmed. They were just actors… or it was an art piece… a performance thing… and people were looking, people had had emotion...because they thought it was real. It was drama. Maybe the woman who jumped—she was a drama queen. Or the kid from Yale. What was he saying? The goddamn Empire State Building. Empire Skate my little boy used to say. If you want to end it all, there are better ways. Quiet ways. Ways that don’t risk falling on some 4-year-old future genius or his mother. But these people are not being followed by paparazzi and maybe they just
wanted something. Some interest.
Banks--- they have no interest in you. They only care about rich people. They deduct and deduct and there is no more INTEREST for the customer. They have your money—if you want theirs, pay for it. Something happened since I was 5 and opened up my first little savings account with a book and a lollipop and interest. Now they charge you 50% of your money in fees and give you a pen that lasts long enough to sign a few checks.
My friend is married to a teddy bear. He is Harry Potter and the Pillsbury Doughboy. But here’s the thing: He’s a teddy bear with money. He earns money, he shits money. Apparently.
Sexy guys shit real shit. And sometimes it stinks. Sometimes they shit on your life.
I once had a dog. It wasn’t a poodle but it had soul. It messed stuff up.
In the end these people.. .they’re alone with their poodles and their paid housekeeping-neatness and their stupid well-framed Richard Princes and Bankseys and their money.
Every few weeks lately… I get this feeling, like my personal banks are going to flood along with all these forgotten people who get 10 inches of rain in one day and cresting rivers with no functioning dams and no interest from the banks and insurance companies. … I can feel it rising...
Yesterday the phone rang.. .and it is my best friend—the one that shot heroin and was broke and sleeping on sofas and cried about it, the one that dressed up like an UES woman going to tea and still shot heroin—the one I took for her amnio 4 months pregnant who pretended to be clean and shot up in the Mt. Sinai toilet. That one.
Well, she’s producing rock bands now and getting paid all kinds of money to make them ‘industry-ready’ which basically means she sucks dick and acts like they’re sucking hers. But we know better. Yeah, she buys $500 Starbucks cards and gets driven around the city with $100 take-out bags… but the thing is, what happened to her SINGING? I mean, life sucks unless you are painting or singing. Or whatever. Listening.
She’s got money, she says… like she’s better than I am. Money.. .what is it in the end but a ticket to nothing, to nowhere, because you’re a passenger…you’re the audience. You’re not shit. You eat expensive shit.
You’re getting dark, she says. But I didn’t even get started.