I had a date last week. I only mention it because it’s been awhile since I last attempted such formality. No flowers or anything like that, rather just committed time to assess each other for future soirées. I normally meet with my insurance agent when forced to, and last week was that time. I carry a cancer policy from AFLAC and they’ve totally revamped how it works so I signed a new policy. While filling out the forms Barb my agent asked if I was seeing anyone. Not quite sure where she was coming from, I asked “What do you have in mind?”
It seems Barb has a friend she thought would be perfect for me. She obviously doesn’t know me! So after exchanging photos Jo Ann agreed to meet me last Saturday evening. I met her at a local tavern and sat down and ordered a good Pinot Noir. Jo Ann is a year older than me which is rare these days…I mean meeting someone older than me is rare.
She was tanned from her love of ultraviolet rays and says she carries a 12 handicap. A bit on the heavy side as age had beset her arms that tended to flap around uncontrollably but has a pretty face. She’s smart as she runs her own business, and laughs easily. Immediately I could sense a little chemistry between us, so I ordered more wine. Three hours and three empty bottles later I discovered her foot was now wedged between my legs utilizing her toes in an erotic loin massage.
I closed our tab and arranged to follow her home.
She lives in a conclave of homes reserved for the very wealthy; even boasting of current Denver Bronco players as neighbors. In my urgency I barely noticed the furnishings and décor as Jo Ann led the way to her spacious bedroom.
According to Jo Ann my performance was and I quote, “Adequate.” Given my crapulousness I’m okay with that rating as much of it was a slobbering blur to me.
The two or three of you still reading this dithyramb are no doubt asking yourselves “Zuki this is all well and good, but what does it have to do with art?” I’m hip. The next morning Jo Ann made coffee and whipped up some scrambled eggs & toast. It hit the spot!
We agreed to go see a Robert Arneson retrospective at the Denver Art Museum so she went upstairs to prepare herself for the day while I looked around her home and furnishings. She was very proud of her various rooms and how she fashioned her personal space. As I wandered from room to room I had an overpowering urge to document the most hideous collection of kitsch I’ve ever witnessed and took a few shots with my phone. I actually began to giggle to myself but wasn’t prepared for her “Contemplation Bathroom.” This is where she meditated each morning. I also meditate in my bathroom, but suspect we’re miles apart as to what’s being contemplated.
Elegantly furnished it’s too bad she felt compelled to paint and decorate her rooms herself; obviously without professional advice. I walked in and my jaw literally hit the floor! The walls and ceilings were painted a harsh blue with a gaudy gold-leaf treatment on all the trim and lamps. I still have nightmares! I began to laugh out loud as it was impossible to turn away. It’s like the first time you see someone whose face has been totally burned leaving only teeth without lips. One is so taken back at the sight; the automatic reaction is to laugh at being confronted with the abject horror of it.
We strolled through the museum as me serving as ‘your docent for the day’ and commenting on Arneson’s work. Thirty minutes into it Jo Ann stopped me and emphatically explained how much she hated his work! As you might imagine this didn’t sit well with me and asked her to explain. She simply didn’t “get it” and the irony built into all his work had escaped her. Jeez.
In shock and disappointed and with obvious resentment in my voice, I told her our date was over and I was calling a cab for her to go home. It was actually over after my self-guided tour of the “Kitsch House” but felt obligated to follow through with the plan.
Uber arrived in less than 10 minutes and charged the ride to my account. From the upper loft of the museum I watched her drive away. Shaking my head still snickering, I wondered aloud why these things continue to happen to me. Life’s rich pageant, at times, has a sick sense of humor!