It was modern, red brick and stone. They say the stench appeared in ‘88, commissioned by a Sir Crowner. Setting itself apart from the monotony of disused warehouses on a resuscitated Albert dock. Mr Sterling provided the plastic surgery, an elegant, yet, simple point in job, with the addition of panes of glass — everywhere. It was modern.

I stumbled into the world of the pompous nonce. Skinny vogues, high heels, crafted facial hair, stylishly messed, amongst a casual wash of plebeian pundits. A red thumb sat atop a plinth, from my position carried it obvious phallic implications—edgy. An everted—Cock. Encased in glass. (Thumb Baldaccini 1965). An arrangement of ransacked rags stolen from a midnight charity drop were piled up. A bare arsed statue possibly sourced from Homebase starred vacantly into this rag tepee. Venus of the Rags, Pistoletto, a 1967 vintage.  Insightful.  I lifted my hand to my chin. It truly reflects the dilemma of choice before a human has to put on its clothes. I internally scoffed at my own infantile critique, scanning my periphery. I had got away with it.

There was an 18-year-old bed bigger than its creator. There was a rumour it had gained sentience. I can vouch for this rumour as I overheard its garbles from behind those who crowded around it. A sense of affinity with its onlooker—its depression was our depression. The observers seemed turned on. They were oscillating their chins and began to visibly shake by being in its presence. This culminated in them blowing wet in their underwear. Some unveiled their genitalia—in any other situation this would be a public offence, but this was reactionary appreciation of something astounding. An impulsive bukkake on a domestic appliance. Some filmed it on their phones, VHS filtered—a vintage aesthetic. This was no amateur pornography though, no— it was art and it was modern.

I decided after ten minutes that if I’m to be the subject of such visual sodomy without my consent I would at the very least like to be drugged, receive an orgasm of my own or donate my corneas to those more culturally enlightened. Blake did provide some lube but it wasn’t enough. I felt like a chid that couldn’t look away, comfort chewing my sleeve as I sobbed amongst the etchings for a good twenty minutes. Where, in the fuck, was Esther?

I stepped out front, lit a cigarette. Choked down a probe of bile—a physical manifestation of my disgust maybe. (write in here) It was getting dark now. Where the fuck was she? .

She appeared, an ostentatious fur coat. She transcended the crowd, her jaw a jackhammer, vintage cream mini shorts that barely covered her crotch—she looked French.

‘Hey fucko, chilly isn’t it?’ she said.

I had known Esther for around four years. She was driven by the lack of any self-awareness—an obtuse ego: traits I had always begrudgingly admired.  She was the mover and shaker of the art world. Her last piece was entitled Stains, it composed of a washing line of used underwear dangled to form of a Venus symbol. It was a breakthrough success that had reverberated around the art world, critics referred to it as a statement ‘on par with the work of Valerie Solanas and Simone de Beauvoir.’ I thought It was mediocre at best. Although, I admit I did enjoy the launch after party. White Russians and a ritualistic burning of a Gloria Steinem effigy.

Esther embraced me and led me back into the gallery. I was her plus one into the private room. I was met by a scene that would be best accompanied and by Pachelbel’s ‘Canon’ in D.

‘There he is’ Esther gushed, ‘remember, you have to pay your respects to Prince Jim. He is the Man here, the director, the curator. Only when he is pleasured, will his host talk to you or even consider investing in your artistic pitch’.

Fuck off was my initial thought, but what came out was a filtered infantile ‘really?’

‘We’ve all had to do at least once, you see them over there…they’ve done it, practically everyone in this room, you guessed it — has done it’ Esther timidly locked eyes to the marble floor.

We mainlined on his location.

‘Steven, darling, this is the one I was telling you about’ he turned around

‘Esther’ he smiled, they placed kisses to the air around each other’s cheeks. He looked me over.

Steven looked the type to have inherited a stately home—suave cream coloured scarf, Just for Men freshly applied forming a Lego taupe and Barberini glasses. I couldn’t help but stare at him as though in the presence of a reanimated Andy Warhol, minus the silver hair and silicone skin. He stood there blankly, awaiting my next move. I began to lower myself as he held wine in one hand with a lone pinky protruding. Esther introduced me and proceeded to recite my CV.

I grasped his zipper, hesitated, I saw Esther now in the background lifting her glass—rapidly nodding, goading me on like a proud parent at sports day.

 

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