I'm dining with a friend and his new girlfriend who could be my nemesis, she's younger and wilder and spends more time making things for herself than working at a sit-to-stand desk five days a week. She's pretty and mysterious and all the stranger interweb leeches want to capture her and beat her down with domesticated mitts. Someone tries on a dress and admires it in the mirror. A party is happening and I'm not in the mood to be there. I skip to the side to read.
My friend lives with his mother in a suburban warehouse somewhere in Ohio or Tennessee. They have separate beds positioned close to each other. I assume their relationship is closer than any other mother and son in the world. I smell the sweetness of this, my heart burns for my own mother. There are several artist friends who begin to trickle in and out. We talk about things made and things to make. Laughter doesn't belong in the conversation. Someone says Go! I begin to run down a hall, seeing myself from behind, I notice my gate, the slight askew position of my hips as I run with one foot in front of the other. Hips even out. I run faster and am surprised how normal I look from behind.
My friend meets me at work, which looks like a fancy kind of mall with glass doors and elevators. We have our biggest sales day ever and coworkers are swarming around celebrating. My friend hands me a book he's made called Day By Day a book of daily illustrations (similar to David Shrigley) that he drew on his iPhone years ago for his son. The drawings have sentences underneath them, the art of a task, dancing through the dishes, how to conquer the blues when encountering the UPS man. The book's publishing dates are 1697 and 7021.
Therapy is happening with a group of artists I know. My therapist asks all of us to be honest with him, as honest as we can be. The office space feels like it's in NYC. I'm a little exhausted there, pressured by external timelines and obligations. I announce to the group of artists that I feel like my days wobble between feeling like a phony and feeling like my true self. Everyone nods. They too believe this about themselves, about their art and life practice. The room turns into an apartment that belongs to a married couple I know. They are both visibly blue, literally blue in the face, with sadness. The wife is in the kitchen sink, her head is submerged in dishwater. Her face is drawn and morose. The husband wears his coat and it seems like he's going somewhere. I offer to take their daughter for a few days. They say I can try but she may not like the idea of leaving. I walk upstairs to their daughter's bedroom and on the way pass a guru from Australia. She asks me what's on my mind. I tell her secrecy is on my mind. If I could speak freely about things, act freely about things, I'd feel like a better human being. She wants money from me, this is her secret. I can feel it and immediately lose my trust in her. I walk up the stairs to my friend's daughter's room. She plays with toys. I stand and watch her from the doorway.