Thursday, August 17, 2006

Life at the Top

I have a friend who decided one day that she was not going to teach anymore; she wants to be an artist. So on a cold early morning walk along Washington, D.C. streets, we vowed that within the year, Jane would be the featured artist at a gallery, and that I would be spending all my days writing. We swore that we would be drinking champagne and saying things such as, “Wow, can you believe that we did this?” Anyway, almost a year to that day, Jane had a show! The Apogee Gallery. Everything looked phenomenal. Jane finally was beginning to feel that she IS an artist, with professional validation that her work is quite good. I have always told her how fantastic her pieces turn out, but she always smiled at me fondly, indulgently.

Jane: Oh, thank you, but you’re my dearest friend. What else are you going to say?
Alice *sighing*: If I did not like the work, I would not be so effusive about it! I would say something along the lines of ‘well, it certainly is unique.’
Jane: No, you wouldn’t. You would never say anything bad about my work. You can’t. It’s not your personality to be anything but an adorable, wonderful friend who would never hurt my feelings.
Alice *quite irritated*: NO! I SO CAN BE UNADORABLE AND HURTFUL!
Jane *smiling and sighing*: No, no, you can’t.
Alice: Well, I’ll try hard to be… you know…. more hardcore.
Jane: You try that, sweetie!

Jane was nervous because she had invited a lot of friends to the opening and one hour into the event, not one had arrived. Finally, a woman from her bible studies group came in and Jane, who had been drinking A LOT to quell her nerves, was quite drunk.

Jane *squealing and running over to the woman and throwing her arms around her and kissing both checks*: OH, ANN, HOW WONDERFUL TO SEE YOU!

The woman looked quite shocked and it wasn’t just because she and Jane did not have a huggy friendship. I knew the reason why.

Jane *still hugging and kissing the woman*: OH, ANN, COME AND SEE MY THINGS!
Alice *quietly whispering into Jane’s ear*: Her name is Elizabeth.
Alice: Janie! Listen to me! Her name is Elizabeth, not Ann!

Of course, Jane was leading the bewildered woman over to the wall to show her Fissure and was still babbling and calling her Ann. Then she came back to where I was now downing more champagne quickly and wondering if I could call for Jolly Rancher shots.

Jane: Isn’t it wonderful that Ann came?
Jane *looks at me with concern*: Aren’t you drinking too much?
Alice: God, no!
Jane: Look, are you practicing being a bitch to me? Because you’re doing a good job, although I know you’re only pretending so I applaud the effort, my dear friend!
Alice: Let’s go find Ann!

I do not remember the rest of the evening clearly, but I think that it involved words such as: brilliant, hello, bravo, Ann, slut (not Ann), NO, goodbye, HOME, NOW, and I can't believe that we did all this bloody-drinking.

1 comment: