Life During Wartime

So. Where were we? That Talking Heads video put me in mind of a job I had when I was in college, making color xeroxes at an art supply store in Soho called Jamie Canvas. There was the big storefront on Spring Street, and in the back was a room with a funky old plastic stereo, this newfangled copy machine, and me, twenty or twenty-one, broke, working for coffees (light and sweet) and boxes of spaghetti. The reason I bring this up is because I played the Talking Heads album “Remain in Light” over and over again in that room as artists stood on line, waiting for their turn at the brand-new machine. I’d dance, they’d step up, we’d experiment with color, etc., I’d pretend I wasn’t making extra copies for them, and everyone felt happy.

I had a bench in my room, and sometimes my friends would come by and visit while I worked. I was having an affair with a married man at the time—he was actually a great love of mine, Joe, and you’ll hear a lot about him here and there—and things were getting a little wonky with his wife. It was 1976 or 1977, I guess, and Joe and his wife had one of those open marriages (please don’t be reading this, please don’t be reading this). She insisted that we be friends, so, being Young Deitch with the faulty wiring (and being curious yellow), I said sure.

Anyway, on this day, with “Psycho Killer” and “Take Me to the River” in the background, Joe’s wife, who is no longer in this incarnation and so won’t be complaining about this blog, was sitting there, in her house dress, like, a million years old, kvetching about something he had done to offend her, when Joe walked in.

Now, I was looking at her because she was talking to me, and I didn’t see him. He was looking at me because he loved me, and he didn’t see her. She ran out the back door into the alley, and he sat down on the bench. There. That’s the story. And here’s the movie:

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