into the fields
Thursday, July 20 2000
Kim's plan for me tonight required that I go with her down to the Dr. Susan Block Studio to deal with the framing of Original Sin, the painting that will be hanging in the Democratic Sex show (opening July 29th). The painting is already framed, of course, but it's one of those cheesy golden metal frames from back in the days when I trusted my mother's judgment about such things. CuratorKim (as opposed to my Kim, who is now known as "Kamala" at the studio) has been bringing up this framing issue for weeks, so tonight I thought I'd deal with it.
On the way to the Studio, Kim stopped at Tacos Plus to pick up some sort of dinner. All was going well until Kim's shrimp burrito sprung a leak somewhere eastbound on the 10. We had to take an immediate exit on Robertson so Kim could clean the burrito juice out of her new grey dress. For my part, I was so frazzled that I accidentally took a bite of tin foil with a mouthful of shrimp burrito and was reminded of how uncomfortable tin foil feels when pressed hard against new fillings.
When we finally made it down to the Studio, we found everyone was tired and cranky and unable to find much for us to do. I never got around to discussing frames with CuratorKim. Instead I found myself cheerfully doing a few menial office tasks: making 30 copies of a flyer and then entering about two dozen records into a Microsoft Access mailing list database. (Meanwhile Kim was entertaining CuratorKim's daughter Samantha.)
It occurred to me as I was typing data into the mailing list that I've never actually had a job quite this mundane (at least since painting houses through the summer of 1986). I felt sort of like one of those Chinese intellectuals sent to the rice fields by the Cultural Revolution (minus, of course, the unease of a bayonet pressed into my back). Susan's husband Max often mentions the fondness of southeast Asian revolutionaries for sending intellectuals into the fields. He figures there's at least a kernel of justification for doing this from time to time, though he freely admits that it can be carried too far (the mid-70s reign of Pol Pot in Cambodia being an example).
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