Earlier this year a guy I dated in college, asked me how to be popular. Online. He wanted lots and lots of people following him so he could look more important.
Naturally, he works in foreign affairs. He would never admit otherwise, but it wasn’t so he could help other people. He’s also been interested in art. He asked me how to do that, too.
I’ve never had answers to questions like these. I don’t know anything about art. When I was younger, I thought good art was putting a dollar bill on the end of a fishing line and hanging it over the balcony at my friends apartment that faced the college row.
1/3 of the people laughed when I told them I was fishing for capitalists
1/3 of the people pretended they couldn’t see it and walked past
1/3 were angry if not before I explained what I was doing, certainly after
I tried different types of lure, but the results always ended up the same. And when I left my pole dangling out of reach to have cheap beer and homemade wines, two boys were running and jumping at it when I returned. But, they left quickly.
I guess that’s the most important lesson about art. In writing. In painting. In living. If you are as much yourself as humanely possible, then it becomes art. You break the barrier between normal life and having fun. You make a persona. You are more sad than sad. More serious than serious.
More real than real.
I don’t know anything about art even though people react to my talent in the same proportion as they did my dollar bill when I was in college. And the same holds true for my writing. The only difference between me and my ex-boyfriend is that I don’t wait for permission to be myself and I am ready for the consequences.
But, those 1/3 who laugh and those that play along. How anyone behave the way they’re supposed to behave when it could be so much more interesting.