a new painting. this one felt like memories and the night. more details here.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
“Your father wants you to go, but I don’t”. She does not mince words, my dear mother. This was the “talk” we had before we went to Paris together. And as a result of her sentiment—coupled with my own residual teen angst at age 23—we had a remarkably terrible trip.
It was the spring of 2002. September 11th had happened. We lost dear friends. And we lost the arrogant, ignorant certainty that everything was going to be generally, ok. The feeling was that it now, wasnt. I was too old to be traveling with my parents and their cronies. But I went anyway. We were not of the jet-setting set, so this trip was big for us and I knew it.
I was working as an intern at Milton Glaser’s studio, growing increasingly smug and haughty for no good reason. Milton made you feel that way, that to be in his midst you were somehow superior to the average schlub. The truth was that I was a particularly pathetic schlub, getting paid peanuts, wearing Aerosoles and living at home with my parents, and now 50% of them didn’t want me in Paris.
I get terrible jet lag. I slept like a french rock in my hotel room. The room had white shutters inside the windows and a sage green comforter on the bed. In the morning, my Dad would pound on the door trying to wake me up to go sightseeing. I hated almost all of it. I dragged my feet at the Louvre. I remember feeling particularly lethargic and “over it” at the Musée d’Orsay. This polar bear sculpture was the only thing that moved me. I felt the food was heavy and like I was being choked by a butter monster until I could no longer breathe. Looking back, my degree of ennui was criminal. Although maybe its just a cliché that everyone should have a lovely time in Paris. I should have gone with friends and we should have stayed out all night at clubs and smoked cigarettes and flirted with some sleazy guys.
I was disgusted with my parents by the end of the trip, as they were with me, no doubt. It was too bad. They both speak French and my Dad even wrote my Mom little missives in French when they were first dating, which she still has in a private stash in the back of her closet. It should have been romantic for them. Instead I was there, the ultimate bratty buzzkill.
I brought back some cookies from Maxim’s to the studio in New York. I handed them to Milton and told him that I liked Paris but that it was particularly nice to go to Monet’s Giverny, you know, to get out the city for the day, I said. Even Milton laughed at me with a downward gaze. Who did I think I was wanting to get out of Paris for the day? I was young.