Watching Men

So, I was out last night with Mack (who is still complaining that I never comment on his blog and yet, does he ever update it? No, if you look, his last post is from October 4, 1642. You literally have to travel back in time to comment on his blog. And I’m sorry, but if I’m going to the effort to travel back through time, it’s only so I can fuck Lord Byron.) and this dude who’s running for city council, and another dude from CMT.

And it was really interesting to watch them. The guy running for city council has this Berkeley professor vibe*–the kind of guy you’d imagine you could find sipping coffee in any interesting city anywhere in the world, reading a book of poetry and smiling to himself about some darling thing his kid did and how he might put that to verse.

No, wait. I have a better analogy. Let’s say that each of these men was a painter. The guy running for city council would be the kind of painter whose studio looked out onto his back yard. He would go out there every afternoon and stare at the crab apple tree he’s been painting for the past three years. Pondering the crab apple tree would make him smile and he’d get lost in his thoughts and be there for a couple of hours. He might not paint at all, and yet, he’d feel artistically fulfilled.

The guy from CMT is the kind of guy with an enormous studio in a hip industrial loft. He has canvases ten feet tall and he throws paint against in a frenzy. He’s painting and talking on the phone and watching tv and seducing a neighbor and when he’s done in the studio, he has to take a shower and a nap.

Our friend, Mack, claims he’s no artist. Just a punk with a bag full of cans of spraypaint. And yet, when people drive by his graffiti, they sometimes have to pull over and check to make sure they aren’t dreaming.

And when they talk, they seem to be discussing both what it is they’re talking about and a proper aesthetic response to the world.

The would-be councilman would gently make his points over and over again, sitting straight in his chair, but working his way like an unnoticed avalanche through the conversation.

The CMT dude would lean in and tap his finger on the table and scratch notes and make brilliant points that were true and smelled of bullshit simultaniously.

And Mack would just lean back. Or leave the table.

I was watching for a tell. But I never saw one.

Behind Mack sat two men who came to the table in impeccable well-cut suits. Each had enormous diamond studs in their ears. They were at their meeting early and so I had time to watch them. One opened his suit jacket and slightly loosened his tie. His broad shoulders, coupled with the cut of his suit, made him look like he was five feet across. He sat with his back to the wall, where he could watch the room. His buddy, who was slimmer, took off his jacket and his tied, unbuttoned the top button of his shirt, and rolled up his shirt sleeves. He had nice forearms.

After they were situated, their dinner guests arrived, two younger men, trying to look badass in their baseball caps and their oversized jackets. The kid on the left, next to the more casual professional guy, was wearing all new clothes. The meeting appeared to be about him.

I don’t know how it went, but I have a feeling he was outmatched.


*Shit, by saying that, I probably just ruined his chances.

11 thoughts on “Watching Men

  1. Much better. I like the whole “tagger” um, tag, than i do the biker thing. I think i shall enjoy the idea that your readers now picture me careening about on a skateboard, eluding the authorities, and leaving my mark wherever I want. I believe I now possess gravitas, finally.

  2. I picture Mack having a studio where he works his preferred magic with silk screens of Elvis, Jesus and Ronald Reagan on black velvet.

    When he’s not painting Frank Frazetta-meets-Diego Rivera murals on the side of custom vans, that is.

  3. Hehehe, 1642.

    I personally wish Mack would post every day, his NIT weekend stint was loads of fun that weekend. And I need more blogs to read every day, for sure.

  4. >it’s only so I can fuck Lord Byron.) and this dude who’s running for city council, and another dude from CMT.

    The potential for a mis-parse of this sentence to drive certain quarters into fits about your wickedness is astronomical : )

  5. Exador, dude. WTF? You get to sit there in your well appointed trailer in North Georgia, basking in the knowledge that B has your back, size wise, and you playa hate over my newly acquired gravitas? I’m the one stuck navigating the mean streets and back alleys of Nashville with the equivalent of 1/4 inch plywood with wheels keeping my old but well toned ass on the move…damn, man, can i get a little love?

  6. Mack, you scared me for a moment as I was reading your reference to a 1/4 inch… (*gasp! go to next line*)
    plywood with wheels…(*exhale!*)
    ok, you were talking about your car.

    Man, my whole perception of your manliness almost went to heck in a handbasket on that very line break.

  7. Perhaps it’s hauling the weight of your gravitas around the mean streets of Nashville that’s keeping your old ass toned.

    I have the best trailer in the holler, thank you very much.

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