the Musings of the Gus home | musings index | feedback | other journals
April 1997 index
previous | next                 page bottom

April 25, 1997, Friday

A strange belief from my childhood: Cracks in the sidewalk are bottomless and are tunnels to the other side of the Earth.


  managed to track down a fully functional Super 8 projector at the Dynashack. I needed one to play my 1976 animated flick The Magic Hat at the Artspace Opening tonight. Originally I'd planned to use a projector belonging to Monster Boy, but his lacked a little essential piece. With the projector lined up, the only thing I needed to do was get my latest painting framed. So I drove the Dart up to Lowes on the ever-horrid 29 North and purchased some simple rectangular-cross-section moulding, nails, and screw eyes.


ack via picturesque Park Street to the Downtown Mall, I framed my evil little picture while Sam and Jenfariello puttered around getting ready for tonight's opening. I gave Jen $15 for booze and they left me behind to watch the place.

For lack of sleep, I lay on one of the couches in the artspace, reading an article about Sebadoh in 3.7 Magazine and feeling an overwhelming urge to enter the lad of nod. Monster Boy and Leticia the Brazilian Girl came by, but headed off to the Mudhouse to meet me there if I should get a chance to get away.

His owner used the passive voice to describe the fate that had befallen the unfortunate pooch; "an eye was removed."
Jen and Sam were taking their sweet time and I was getting sick of being in the gallery alone listening to "Modern Rock" on WNRN. I had somebody named Dave watch the gallery and went off to the Mudhouse for a $1.15 cup of coffee. While Monster Boy and Leticia checked email and I sat sleepily sipping my coffee out in front, Matthew Hart and his on-again-off-again-lesbian-girfriend-now-wife, Leah appeared. They were buoyant with discovery and possibility. Meanwhile a dog with only one eye stalked underfoot. His owner used the passive voice to describe the fate that had befallen the unfortunate pooch; "an eye was removed."

I left my comrades behind and waded through the merry Fridays After Five throng back to the Artspace. Jen was nowhere to be found, so I locked the place up. I went among the teenagers, musicians, face painters, Amish bakery goods hucksters and babbling psychos to the middle of the Mall where I found a couple of people I know: Sky (who used to work at Jerusalem) and Dave, the guy I had watching the Artspace awhile back. I was joined by Persad, who was wearing a collar festooned with long spikes and a drab green jacket. He expressed disgust with all the wanna-be goths who stood fifty feet to the west around their hero, Big-Haired Sean (who, I should point out, has a shaved head). There were all kinds of goths. Some of the girls had fashionable velvety black dresses, and most of the boys wore black jeans and boots and long earth-tone trench coats. One girl, who I have mentioned in these musings before, resembled an over-stuffed black Lazy Boy®. She must be the Martha Dumptruck of gothdom, and looked as though she could use some friends. Persad said that seeing the goth look suddenly be the latest youth craze made him want to start dressing normal. I joked that on Thursdays there must be tractor trailer loads of black hair dye converging on Charlottesville to supply the weekend goth scene.

I eventually ended up at Gallery Neo for tonight's official Christopher Makos opening.


he place was already packed with the art-buying Charlottesville elite. It was an older crowd than I am familiar with, but style is just as important among the elite as it is among the rebelious youth. Clothes indicate status, you see, and at least one woman wore a sparkly dress. For my part, I was dressed remarkably conservatively, in polyester black dress slacks, black boots, black tee shirt and an earthy yellow sweater. I was to discover that conforming to the dress code conferred upon me unaccustomed measures of respectablity.

I felt a little guilty about my fascination because she looked about sixteen years old.
The diet tonight consisted of sushi and vino. I actually found myself getting sick of sushi. But not vino. I lingered around the vino table, helping the pretty little vino girl uncork the bottles. She was so small and helpless that the beast within me was channeled into her service (for its own nefarious aims). She wore a black dress and white stockings, but the thing that made her irresistable was the pink barrette. I felt a little guilty about my fascination because she looked about sixteen years old.

The Amy who works at the Tokyo Rose came by with some guy, and she had very little to say to me except the strange sentiment that she wished to go with me to the Horrid Crash Pad sometime. I have trouble picturing her there.

For business reasons, I exchanged contact information with Christopher Makos. Now that I have his email address we can work on projects together via the Internet. I'm serious; he'd told me several times that he was interested. We'll see what happens. I don't even have a business card, so I constructed one on the spot using one of Bn's. I went on to cultivate another (lesser) business connection after I was seen exchanging info with Makos.


akos seemed to be enjoying himself; he was signing posters on the hood of his Jaguar (which had rockstar parking right in front of the gallery) and was chatting with those who clustered around him. One woman was keeping careful notes; I imagine she was a reporter. I never once saw Makos drink anything, by the way.

When I'd had my fill of Neo, I proceded on to the Artspace, where an "after opening party" was to occur. I showed the film The Magic Hat for a group of people, my friends mostly. Seeing the film today for the first time since I was eight, I was struck by how full of enthusiastic energy it was. It was an achievement and seems to breathe with an awareness that it was so. It begins with my little eight year old hand writing out the credits, halting as I did so on tricky spellings and whatever passes through the eight year old mind. The animations were crude hoppings of two dimensional paper puppets with the power to bend their knees and elbows and interact with a two dimensional world of houses with doors and windows and beds and, most importantly, hats. The showing was well received by all, especially Liz West, who does lots of video work for her classes. Three things I wish:

  1. The film hadn't broken earlier in the day when I was trying it out (the repair made the film hang when I was showing it tonight.
  2. More people, such as people who I do not know had seen the film
  3. I'd had the printed copy of the transcript for the film, from a story I wrote in late 1975. It would have added something for me to have read this transcript aloud during the showing. There used to be an audio tape that accompanied the film (with yours truely reading in a delightfully cute little boy's voice), but this has been lost.

Amy who works at Tokyo Rose appeared again, but only briefly. I had someone, Sam maybe, fix her a gin and tonic. Everybody was reluctant to get drinks because of an intimidating sign that asked for donations. But I'd paid $15, and I surely wasn't going to be able to drink $15 worth of alcohol by myself.

It's okay, she gets to do this because she is the queen über bitch of the Charlottesville art world.

enfariello had managed to borrow some antique carpets and even some furniture from a nearby store to decorate the Artspace for the party. Since the party was partly an AIDS benefit, and since Jen would be putting out the antique store's cards, she'd managed to get to use the stuff for free. But whenever one is having a party, the decorations hang in the balance. I sat next to Leticia on a couch and managed somehow to knock an object off of the vintage 60s designer coffee table in front of me. It landed with a smash on the floor by my feet. I realized quickly that the object that had smashed was an object d'art created by none other than Jenfariello. It was one of her capped water-filled bottles that contains glitter and small floating photographs sealed in plastic laminations. Such an object would not be difficult to recreate with another bottle, water, and glitter. The problem, however, was the deluge that threatened an antique rug. Jenfariello was understandably distressed. The whole evening was obviously extremely distressing for her. She snapped at me again when I changed the music. It's okay, she gets to do this because she is the queen über bitch of the Charlottesville art world.


ver at the snack food table, I was hanging out with Leah Hale-Hart and Matthew Hart-Hale and making comments about what a hotty the little Pink Barrette Gallery Neo Vino Girl was. This is unusual behaviour for me; normally I scorn people who do similar things. But these are my friends, and I felt it was important for them to know what a slime ball I felt like. Leah was somewhat scandalized; she said she'd always thought of me fondly as an asexual. It's precisely that sort of sentiment that encourages me to want to make more lude comments about any future little hotties that should occasion themselves within view.

The fact that he would not let her stray more than ten feet from him was disturbing enough to earn him the instant loser designation.
Sadly though, as Leah soon pointed out, the little Pink Barrette Gallery Neo Vino Girl obviously had a boyfriend relentlessly stalking her wherever she went. He was a tall guy with a goatee and artificially orange hair (it turns out that this is what your hair looks like when you dye it black and then bleach it). Gradually I started talking more about the Tall Orange-Haired Boyfriend than I did the tiny Pink Barrette Gallery Neo Vino Girl. The fact that he would not let her stray more than ten feet from him was disturbing enough to earn him the instant loser designation. At this point I was satisfied that the Pink Barrette Gallery Neo Vino Girl would occasionally shoot me helpless glances across the room, come over to say hi and then continue on while the Tall Orange-Haired Boyfriend followed shortly behind as a caboose in the two car train of premarital malaise.

Leticia the Brazilian Girl pointed out to me that Tall Orange-Haired Boyfriend looked exactly like Wonder Boy Neek (except Wonder Boy Neek has shaved his head and has no facial hair). Wonder Boy Neek was present for easy comparison, and I have to agree, that except for nose shape (Tall Orange-Haired Boyfriend's is straight and Wonder Boy's is convex) they were virtually identical. And apparently the little Pink Barrette Gallery Neo Vino Girl is attracted to that type of male Homo sapien. Soon she could be seen talking with a clearly eager Wonder Boy, his head bent low so he could hear her voice from its origins at the level of his navel. By this point for some unknown reason, Tall Orange-Haired Boyfriend had settled down on a couch and had quit stalking his beleagured girlfriend. I was disgusted by this development. I claimed to my friends that I was no longer interested in the little Pink Barrette Gallery Neo Vino Girl. She did come over briefly and I played with her hair while asking if Tall Orange-Haired Boyfriend was in fact her boyfriend. "Yes he is," she admitted with conditional delight. Leah and Matthew proceeded to candidly inform her how very unattractive they found the Tall Orange-Haired Boyfriend to be.

However, in my mind, the little Pink Barrette Gallery Neo Vino Girl and the 40 year Old Artificial Tan Woman seem like entirely different species.

his particular evening was the first time I ever had any indications that older women found me in the least bit attractive. No doubt the relative maturity of my outfit tonight made this possible. One such woman was a familiar-looking and rather attractive 40 year old who I first came upon at Gallery Neo. From the moment I first saw her, though, she was extremely drunk. Her voice slurred as she told me one incoherrent thing after another. But she was not aggressive and was easy to lose in the crowd both at Gallery Neo and at the Downtown Artspace. The other woman was maybe the same age with what Matthew Hart termed an "artificial tan." She sat next to me on a couch at the Artspace stroking my hand with her thumb and trying to get me to go to some Café with her and her girlfriends. Having to work at 9am tommorrow was an easy out. By the way, I find the idea of romance with older women to be well within my idea of fun adventure, however, in my mind, the little Pink Barrette Gallery Neo Vino Girl and the 40 year Old Artificial Tan Woman seem like entirely different species.

Christopher Makos made an appearance at the Artspace eventually, and could be seen chatting with members of the mostly youthful crowd. Again, I never saw him drink anything.

Elizabeth says she will leave stalkerly reminders (with my forged signature) in his study carrel at the art department.

  should say something about Jacques deBeaufort's photographs at the Artspace opening. Some weeks ago, he managed to convince a group of my friends (including housemate John as well as Catherine deGood and Deidre) to take all their clothes off, cover themselves in mud, and pose for black and white photographs. The result is a series called something like "Goat Pictures from the Flat Age." The photos are timeless; they look like Greek or Roman marble friezes. Their monumentality is a true achievement. It's the kind of thing I look at and say, "damn, why didn't I think of that?" I hope Jacques doesn't read this; his ego needs to stay within the manageable range. By the way, Jacques still has given me nothing for my covering myself in red paint and prancing around in the abandoned factory. Elizabeth says she will leave stalkerly reminders (with my forged signature) in his study carrel at the art department.

I drove my Dodge Dart home, though I barely remember doing so. I was in bed at midnight.

At three AM, I awoke to hear voices in the living room. There I found Monster Boy, both Brazilian Girls, the dreamy boy from Abundance House and Elizabeth hanging out. They'd just been smoking pot. Unbeknownst to me, Monster Boy and the Brazilian Girls had also taken LSD. I thought they were acting weird. When they went off to walk on the railroad tracks, I headed back to bed.

back to the top
previous | next