CHAPTER 10: Nina's Art
Plate 1 - The Opening

This is a picture of an opening at the Brand Gallery. That's me, playing with the baby. It's an unusual picture because I hate babies and I hate Los Angeles Gallery Openings.

I didn't always feel this way. At one time I thought babies were cute. I had also been deeply into Art. Then I lost Kaye (she was my - is 'significant other' still the PC term?) I lost Kaye and everything changed.

Eventually I came down here from Berkeley and hooked up with some old friends, you see some of them in the picture.

But Art was dead for me. Inside me. It's different in Los Angeles. Art here is, well, people in Los Angeles use Art like an expensive pair of sunglasses.

I had only come to this opening because it was for BeBe, an old friend of mine. That's him standing next to me with his back to you. He's married now and they have a daughter. His wife is the short one behind me and their five year old is off racing around the gallery somewhere.

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It was good seeing them, BeBe was even trying to set me up with a Czech friend of his, she's behind the stroller, but I still wasn't into it, you know, dating, I just wanted to pay my respects and leave. That's when Nina came in.

We hadn't seen each other in years. Suddenly I was really glad I had come because there we all were, Nina, Bebe, and Me, just like before except fatter, mellower and pushin' The Big 4-Oh-No! And there was Nina pushing along her new baby in a little stroller!

And what a baby! A big, fat, come-here-cutie baby! Something clicked in me, maybe because we had survived, I had survived some pretty manic stuff, I could simple down to the What's-What because there it was. The Real Deal, the baby, Nina's Art.

So here is the moment of this picture, the baby and I playing an ecstatic game of 'finger-pull', and me with all my hate and hurt falling away in sheets so big I'm surprised no one heard them hit the floor.

Then again, maybe someone did because a moment later, when I looked up, the Czech girl was smiling at me big time. I'll let you know how it works out.

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