Maid in Heaven / En Plein Air in Hell (My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Cheeto Problem)
A dream for some a nightmare for others.
It was a dark time for me. I was sleeping all day and staying up all night playing online chess in Internet cafes.
Why were you going to Internet cafes? You don’t have a computer?
No I smashed it.
You smashed it? Haha. Why?
I couldn’t find a high res jpeg of a smashed computer online anywhere, so I smashed my computer so I could take a photo of it.
!!!!! What did you end up using the photo for?
A flyer I made for my friend’s show.
A printed flyer?
No it was a jpeg.
Imagine to yourself that you’re an artist, in Miami, at some weird party hosted by a rich Russian. There are celebrities and there is live body painting, the party is cheesy as shit, but you’re fucked up so it’s fascinating. The friend who brought you there introduces you to a tall, tanned man. You take a seat and start conversing. The conversation is geared towards art blah, blah, blah. He scrolls through photos on his iPhone – he owns this and that, this is who he’s interested in and what he hopes to buy this weekend at the fairs. ‘Do you like it?’ It’s all the shit you hate so you just say ‘it’s not my thing.’ Out of things to talk about you inquire:
‘What do you do for a living?’
As the words float from your drunken lips and reach the group of girls behind him, their giggling confirms that he’s probably very well known. The man pauses and smiles. ‘I’m in sports management.’
Oh ok, whatever, it doesn’t matter – ‘I think I’m gonna get another drink, nice talking to you.’ You excuse yourself and walk to the bar.
‘That’s ARod you fucking retard.’
A black goop violently fills your lungs and overtakes your body, a Lilo & Stitch humidifier sends clouds of steam onto your face; the words ‘Wipeout XL’ and ‘L’Hotel Th.’ – a stationary logotype from an exhibition your girlfriend curated years ago – flash in sync to the sounds of hands clapping. Little Man, the Western Exterminator mascot, smashes aliens in the head, the alien goop splatters into smears of paint or hard edge dots, it’s too hard to tell which as it all moves in and out of focus so fast. This prompts you to reminisce about how you looked when you were in the best shape of your life, the high definition of your body, and you recall a picture of yourself, shirtless. You loose consciousness. As it returns, a mouth slowly comes into focus. The mouth belongs to a European gallerist – he knows nothing of your work. As the rest of his face joins his nose in focus, you realize you’ve spent the whole night drinking heavily with this man. You’re sitting in the bar of your hotel in New York. It’s now late and your eyes are closing and he’s spent the last 20 minutes speaking and you’re no longer following. As you recede deeper into your own thoughts, a phrase springs crisply from his mouth: ‘And in the end you have to be hardcore.’
‘Yes, you have to be hardcore’, and you make a note in your iPhone. You excuse yourself to bed, but tell the gallerist he is free to stay and drink and put anything on your room tab that he wishes.
The next morning you wake up late for a meeting. You pass quickly through the hotel towards a taxi, past the bar. The gallerist is still sitting, drinking, in the same clothes, in the same seat.
You have to be hardcore.
© Parker Cheeto 2014
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