Sailor

In New York, in the lower Twenties, I saw a young woman standing in the foyer of a dance club called Lakshe.  She wore stilettos and a mini dress, impeccably made up, beautiful in every way.  Yet something about her was strange.

She was utterly motionless.  Like a holographic projection of a woman.  Not a blink.  Not a sound.  She held a cell phone to her ear, but her lips were closed.  She did not look around. She focused her eyes on a single fixed point.

Weeks later, in broad daylight, I saw the same impressively turned out young woman standing near the entrance to a clothing store on the West Side. Sunglasses covered her eyes.  She was holding a cell phone.  Again, she was motionless.  Not even a hair stirred on her head.

In both cases, I am now convinced, this was advertising.  Motionlessness, and silence, in a carefully chosen context, are more eye-catching than their opposites.

Why am I telling you this?

Because the stillness of this prostitute was a riddle to me.  I wanted to know whether her stillness, her silence, had an analog in an artist’s life.

And why did I want to know?

Because of something else I had already known for a long time:

Every good artist is a whore.

And that is why I am here.  That is why I am letting my ink dry in public.

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2 responses to “Sailor

  1. Thank you for this piece, I especially enjoyed the “letting my ink dry in public” closing.

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