Clearly, I’m No Artist

As I’ve said, I’m always stumbling across weird shit in our apartment that leads me to have to ask such questions as “Why is there a pile of broken mirror on our back porch?” or “Why is there a huge roll of telephone wire behind the couch?”

The answers to these questions are always “It’s for something I’m making.”

Well, I’m proud to report that today, when my brother, the dear Butcher, went into the bathroom, he yelled down, “Why are there a bunch of copper pyramids in the shower?”

And I was able to holler back, “It’s for something I’m making.”

Here’s the deal. We’re about to move offices and I will, yet again, not be getting a window. I will, however, be getting a real room that is not just a wide spot in the hallway, so I am excited about that.

But I need something to liven up the place, something that isn’t too distracting when I need to concentrate, but something that will slowly change over time, as would the scenery out the window.

So, I had this idea of starting copper to patina and hanging that on my wall, where it would be shiny and add some light to the room, but slowly change to green.

I thought this would be an easy-enough transformation, as I’ve spent a great deal of my childhood trying to clean green off of my dad’s penny collection, which led me to believe that copper would turn green without much prodding, but there were obstacles and disappointments at every turn.

So, of course, I had to haul the Professor along. I promised her that, at the end of it all, we would drink, profusely. We did not.

This is the story of how two people, wanting only to get drunk and sit in my front yard (using ‘yard’ in the same loose sense that convicts do, when they talk about the prison yard, which is concrete and the threat of death) while staring at beautifully patina-ing copper, failed in even that small goal.

The first disappointment of the day was that it was so beautiful here yesterday that everyone in Nashville was at the park. Our usual route was clogged with joggers and so we decided to go around to the other side of the park where every jackass in town was letting his dog run off-leash.

Nashville, is it too much to ask for you to put your god-damned dog back on the leash when you see me coming? I don’t let my dog off her leash. I don’t let her come bounding up to you–though she would like nothing better–and lick your children–though she loves to lick children. Start extending me that same courtesy or I swear to god, I’m going to get a paintball gun and shoot it at your dog so that it will back the fuck off my dog and everyone else at the park has fair warning that your an inconsiderate jackass who thinks that half-heartedly saying “Spot, come back here” and having your dog look over at you and roll its eyes constitutes having your dog under control.

Okay, back on point, we had lunch at this place we’d both been meaning to try and I had this fabulous Greek sandwich which was full of awesome stuff, especially these really fresh cucumbers. Then we went to the pet shop to tempt the Professor, but it was closed, so all we could do is stare in the window and dream.

There was this darling, darling beagle/coonhound mix and I was in love with it. The Professor preferred a boxer mix that kept sitting on its toy.

Then, we went out to Home Depot to get copper post toppers. No luck.

Then, we drove and drove to the next Home Depot. No luck.

Finally, we went to Lowe’s. We’re going up and down all the aisles and getting more despondent and thinking maybe we’re going to have to find a place that sells copper roofing. And the Professor gets on the phone with the Sheik and asks him where we can get some copper.

Just as a side note, I must say that one of the things that cracks me up about the Professor–and I do it to, in all honesty–is that we call people who do not live here for advice on where we might find things here in town.

Before she’d called her brother, I’d already been on the phone with my dad and he was all like, “Check the Hobby Lobby” and I thought that was a brilliant idea except that I’ve never seen a Hobby Lobby here in Nashville.

But as she’s talking to her brother, I turned the corner and there, on a shelf, were the copper post toppers. Armed with them, some sandpaper, and some copper patina-ing crap we got from Michael’s, we started the long trek home.

On the way, the Professor was trying to convince me that I needed to have a scandalous affair. The Professor is, right now, having seventeen scandalous affairs. I suspect that, if you checked her pockets, you’d find a piece of paper with the names of all of her scandalous affair-ees and notes next to each name so that when one of them calls her, she can check and make sure she remembers some discerning feature about him or her, so that he or she feels properly loved, or at least remembered.

So, easy enough for her to say, but I’m mostly a hermit, so scandalous affairs are harder to come by. I did, however, promise her that should someone come by the house, looking to have one, I’d at least consider it.

Once we got back here, we set up in the front yard with all our little copper pyramids and some brushes. We scuffed up the copper, wiped on the patina crap, and waited for something to happen.

And waited… and waited…

Finally, some of the patina crap dried to the copper pyramids, but that was about it in terms of exciting transformations.

And, we didn’t even drink because the Professor had to drive back out to the airport and I was just feeling tired and disappointed.

It was funny, but not funny enough to balance out my bitterness at not being able to just whoop something up for my office with the same ease that the Butcher whoops up art for the house.

But then, I got to thinking that it’s weather that makes copper patina naturally. So, I picked up all my pyramids and took them upstairs and distributed them throughout the shower.

And what do you know? They’ve started to turn green.