project 365 #68: red shopping cart by the dollar store
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
I'm going to a memorial service for my old friend Michael Tyzack, who was my professor when I was an art major at the College of Charleston, who taught me about paint and color and how you should take care of your brushes. A couple of years later, when he was on a sabbatical year in NYC, living in a Soho loft, we dated for several months. And then we didn't anymore and I went on and lived my life and he lived his and there was no contact. Then, a little bit after I moved here and was working at the art museum, a card came announcing a retrospective of his at the College gallery, where, in other news, I did my work study stint in college, hanging shows and arranging gallery attendants and, incidentally, firing my friend D, who is still a friend of mine and still prone to always being late.
So I went to Charleston to Michael's show, because I hadn't seen him in so very long and he was overwhelmingly happy to see me. Michael was an Englishman who never lost his inimitable British accent and some of the stories he told me I still am telling, like the one where he went at age 15 with his Irish uncle to a bar in Dublin and, when asked to order a drink, ordered Scotch because he had never ordered a drink before but had heard his father do it. Silence fell, and his uncle said, "You're in Ireland and you'll drink Jamesons." And so, he did.
He watched me standing by a window once and said, almost surprised, "Do you know, you're really quite extraordinarily beautiful right now." "Yes," I said, since I was gutsier then and naked, "Yes, I know." And he laughed and probably pulled me back to bed. When I saw him in Charleston those five or so years ago I said, "Do you remember how we broke up? Because I can't, and it's bothering me." "Oh," he said, "We just faded away." And I guess we did. He was happy as hell to see me then and I was happy to see him and we went for a drink which was lovely and I would have stayed with all the people for dinner but I was underdressed (which is, I believe, where I started with this) because I had come down from Asheville in, god help me, jeans and probably hiking boots, to re-encounter downtown Charleson in all their finery and I felt dowdy and young and foolish, which is often how I felt with Michael, and so I begged off. We fought about that when I was dating him and finally he took me to a dinner party at Sean Scully's loft and I was, alas, dowdy and young and foolish and ignored. And now I am going to his memorial service: still dowdy, still foolish but not so young.
Note. After rereading this a couple of days later I want to make sure it's clear that it was only me and my insecurity (and my reprehensible taste in clothes) that made me feel dowdy and/or foolish. Michael never did; he was great.