Church near MFAH in Houston TX Museum District

Fountain in Paris, France
Fountain in Paris, France

It’s all related somehow. I can see that now. Picture the image.

The Lady Enchantress, Herself, slowly, thoughtfully, walking through one of the galleries in the De Young Museum. This would be the newer De Young. The tower; a haphazard sentinel, being an integral part of the whole. The epochal oxidation designed into the facade. The massive, fault-line inspired rocks installed at the front entrance. Almost within the building itself are the silent tree-ferns, descending as they are, with monumental glass between the patrons and themselves.

Of course, these would be tribute to the tree ferns growing across the street from the Victorian green house in a nearby part of The Park, near the bridge one fails to notice until you hear the jazz performers either solo or ensemble from beneath the bridge. But, I wander.

She, The Enchantress does not meander. Thoughtful, she is. And dressed in something vibrant. Perhaps scandalous; not just her outfit, but the latest artist -or at least his work, all along the walls.

The usual tranquility of The Golden Gate Park was disrupted by the protesters demonstrating their objection to the latest installed insult to their conservative sensibilities. The detailed still-life paintings, while ostensibly of food, seemed in their minds to be of a more erotic nature. It was maintained the food was painted in a manner to suggest sexual organs, and, sensuality. These would be the highly right-wing, and anti, anti-establishment sort. At least, for today, the large images of unborn fetuses could be left at home. The protesters had been dropped of by the bus-load upon the opening of the show of this now controversial artist. They were there in force, and, in stark contrast to the tranquil, hushed interior, occupied as it was by our Lady Enchantress, Herself -and now the late.

In her ensemble, as red as the dying sun on a late July afternoon, and clutch-purse to match, she made it past the silent, mist enshrouded tree ferns along the path near the little-noticed bridge. Soon after catching sight of the intimidating mob in front of the De Young all along the circular road in front where one always sees loaded tour buses and Segway groups. This would be the road that circles the fountains with concrete tigers. The California Academy of Sciences with its grassy roof-top would be on the opposite side.

Despite being jeered at by the protesters, pushed, and receiving a kind-of implied threat, she made it in through the glass doors and paid for her ticket. Of course, she would see the paintings of food, but, there was also another painting that she did not expect to see. But not because she didn’t know about it’s existence in advance. In fact, she posed for it.

The Lady Enchantress, as composed as one could have been under the circumstances, walked into a room so quiet she could here the material brush up against her legs as she progressed from painting to painting, vibrant red as the setting sun, golden hair in descending curls, and eyes of a blue that would inspire envy from the sky.

She saw the giant silver platter of mounds of whipped cream whose curls and folds were somehow purported to suggest a male crotch. It is amazing the things one does not see until told to see them. Were the strawberries dripping with moisture really suggestive of nipples? Hasn’t a banana, in essence, always been phallic? Can an arrangement of cucumbers on a table against a background of french doors change its nature and become pure of spirit? Can they help their reflection in the glass behind them?

Or, a large white carafe on a marble pedestal, picture it. It could not possibly help but cast a more modest shadow on a bright, sunny afternoon? Does every vague shadow suggest an erection by virtue of its sketchiness? Is not every fleeting pleasure stolen?

We can find immodesty in anything we like, given the fortitude of our imaginations. Perhaps it is nature’s goal to fill every void with DNA. At the heart of it every proposition is sexual, especially if it is earnest. Even food was meant for an orifice.

Surely, the highly textured surfaces, encumbered with droplets of moisture, show a dimension of food barely noticed before. With Cubism we see many aspects of a thing. Perhaps it was shut out of our consciousness, until Picasso awakened it.

Was the compote overfilled with orange jello and red cherries just so, deliberate? Was the china tureen with brown gravy masquerading as something it was not? Peer into the brush strokes. Imagine the depths. What are we really seeing there?

She failed to be moved in a manner other than a culinary one. And then she saw it. It was like meeting yourself in a place that was unexpected. It was the painting of her, meaning her body in that pose, done some years ago, and, under circumstances that would suggest it would forever remain underground. It was an image she did not anticipate being revealed. Here it was. She was, here, surrounded by all this food. And, she almost gasped immodestly.

Chapter 7: A Parting Glance *** Murder in SF

JLegare


Amateur writer, pianist, denizen of Houston and part-time GLBT activist


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