Never before have I noticed how many paintings of naked people and various forms of transportation there are hanging in the MoMa. Cars, trains and naked ladies- they’re everywhere! Yesterday as Nico and I wandered around the museum, he insisted on stopping in front of each painting that depicted a nude or semi-nude person. “Ahhhh, bap” he’d say knowingly. “Oh you think they’re about to take a bath?” I’d ask. “Bap” he’d say again with authority and then march on to the next naked person. Sometimes the nude figure would be about to get in the “showa” in which case Nico tended to state it more as a question; “Showa?” he’d ask and look up at me for affirmation. “Hmmm yes, I think you might be right. Definitely on their way to the shower” I’d reply. The cars, bus and train paintings were a bit more tricky because Nico insisted on standing in front of each of them for a minimum of 10 minutes each, all the while making a running commentary of everything he saw. “Car. Car. Car. Car. Bup (bus). Bup! Banana. Choo choo? Car. Bup! Kuck (truck). Kuck? Car! Chugga chugga choo choo!”
I’ve decided that I’m really not fond of transportation themes in art.
While at MoMa we saw my old friend and roommate John. I met John through an ad in the Voice and we lived in the same apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn for about 6 months- a time during which I consumed enough alcohol to pickle all of South America. We shared the apartment with a guy named Jason. Jason is rather difficult to describe but for lack of a better comparison, imagine Austin Scarlett from Project Runway. Now, imagine a much more annoying, much less endearing Austin Scarlett. Now take that Austin Scarlett and make him psychotic and that would be the closest approximation of Jason that I can give you.
I can no longer remember many details about Jason. He was milky white and thin as a rail. He was very effeminate but claimed to be straight and spent a great deal of time applying nail polish while lamenting his inability to find a good woman. I would feel badly talking about him this way except for the fact that one time he referred to my complexion as being “doughy” and I’m not sure about you, but I think that once someone says that you’re doughy, all’s fair.
Life with Jason started out normally enough. I didn’t see him all that often and when I did he was usually busy pursuing his twin goals of becoming either a showtune singer and/or personal assistant. He never seemed to get very far with either ambition but he had enough to pay the rent which was all that concerned me. As time went on however, things began to change. We started seeing less and less of Jason and although we’d often hear the strains of Judy Garland emerging from the crack under his door, days began to go by when we wouldn’t see his face at all. We began to worry. Not because of Jason’s disappearance but rather because over time, our dishes and silverware began to disappear as well. There was a day when things came to a head. Upon going to get a fork with which to eat his pineapple upside down cake, John discovered that there was not a single fork or spoon left in the entire kitchen. Jason had made a rare public appearance that morning when he announced that he was going into Manhattan in order to meet his boss’s cat (???) Neither John nor I knew he had a boss in the first place but that didn’t matter. The important thing was that Jason was not at home which meant that we could do a bit of investigating.
As soon as we opened the door to Jason’s room we knew that things had gone terribly terribly awry. The room stank of cat shit and it was obvious that he hadn’t emptied a litter box in weeks. In addition, there were plates of rotting food all over the floor. We were disgusted but not nearly as much so as when we opened the door to Jason’s bathroom, where much to our horror, we saw all of our dishes sitting in a bathtub filled with brown water. I screamed and then screamed even more when in the next instant, John grabbed a sword that was leaning on the wall (again- ???) and smashed the full length mirror on Jason’s wall to bits.
Oddly enough I have no memory at all of what happened after that. I don’t remember if Jason came home or never came home or what. As for me, I moved shortly afterwards to a different apartment with a different set of crazy roommates. These days I am a mother and John is married. We can stand together in Barnes and Noble while enjoying a coffee and watching Nico rearrange all the books and we can laugh about that insanity that we once shared. I really don’t miss it at all except for sometimes…