SAM I am

I chugged more of the acetaminophen-laced blue goop today, and while it didn’t make my head stop revolving or remove the feeling that the world was floating away from me, it did at least put an end to the streams of phlegm and watery liquid that had been rushing from my lungs and nostrils for the last few days.

Finally ready to eat again, I tried to buy a cup of tomato soup, until I saw the proud boast that it was made from only genuine chicken stock. No good for me then.

This evening I was staying with friends in Seattle, so after a long day trying to catch up on things, I took a taxi over to my friends’ place. Halfway there, I spotted a shiny red Ford that was just like my friend’s car. As we drew level, I could see she was driving it, which was a fairly useless coincidence, unless I could have persuaded my driver to let me leap from car to car and get my luggage passed over too. My friend beat the taxi driver by a good,ten minutes, which may say something about the professionalism and navigational ability of my driver, or may my friend doesn’t observe speed limits. Who knows?

This evening we went out to a party at SAM, the Seattle Art Museum. I’ve been to SAM a few times before, but not when it’s been full of drunks dressing to try to impress one another. As one of my friends said, it felt like one of those frenzied nights amongst the Beautiful People of Hong Kong, with too much effort being expended on attention seeking.

At the same time, one thing Cui Gao’s exploding Ford Taurus installation benefits from are some flashing lights and disco beats, in a sort of counterpoint to the lights already flashing in the cars. At the same time, it doesn’t benefit from a drunk man trying to climb into one of the cars while his gurning friends whoop and take photos on their iPhones. Or am I an elitist?

Thus it was rather a mixed night. For every lovely piece of opera, there was a dire piece of interpretative dance accompanied by inept trumpeting. For every enthusiastic artist trying to share her work, there was an army of hipsters shilling some junk they’d dug out of their basement. (Or had I got that the wrong way round?) There were places where we were encouraged to join in and make art, and some of them were akin to five year olds doing handicrafts (good for you, drunken thirtysomethings), and others possibly more meaningful. There was booze. There were worried security staff. And there was a terrible dance, which happened in the hall where I once saw an enormous sculpture of a rat. I don’t know if the dance or the absence of the rat was the greatest disappointment for me.

It was good to see art in a slightly different context. Perhaps again, with less booze and less cold medication, I’d appreciate things properly. This evening, I enjoyed it, then abruptly passed out. There’s not enough sleep in the world.

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