Tag Archives: geriatrics

Lame Adventure 376: Glimpse of the Future, Gander at the Past

I am hanging out with my friend Coco in SoHo, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan to anyone unfamiliar with this island. SoHo means South of Houston Street, and Houston is pronounced like Mouse-ton with an h, not like the city in Texas, or the movie director, John Huston, Anjelica Huston’s dad. Eagle-eyed Milton took this gotcha shot of Anjelica last year with his iPhone when we were people watching outside the New York Film Festival.

Anjelica Huston at the New York Film Festival in 2012.

Anjelica Huston at the New York Film Festival in 2012 unable to escape Milton’s iPhone.

Fast forward back to the present, Coco and I are walking south on West Broadway, a street rife with expensive boutiques I never enter and art galleries that can be interesting. Coco is very excited because she wants me to see something. She’s walking so fast, she’s almost jogging; she cannot wait for me to see this sight. She stands in front of a window, antsy.

Coco: You’ve got to see this!

My reflexes are a tad perverse. I look at the window right across from me, into a salon. I look back at her quizzically.

Coco (insistent): Look here! In this window!

Coco resists banging her head on the pavement. If she is thinking something rude about the inefficiency of my ability to comprehend, she resists mentioning it out loud. I walk over to join her outside the Eli Klein Fine Art gallery barking:

Me: What?

Industrial strength sign.

Unassuming sign.

Coco smiles devilishly. I see it: a lifelike sculpture by artist Shen Shaomin of a hag who checked her modesty at the door. She’s sitting naked as a jaybird on a deck chair sunning herself. It’s called, I Want to Know What Infinity Is.

I Want to Know What Infinity Is, 2011-2012

I Want to Know What Infinity Is, 2011-2012

Is this, the artist’s rendition of what a woman who lives to be older than dirt can anticipate — catching rays and forgetting about wearing a bathing suit? Am I looking at myself in approximately 50 years? Will my flab be overcome with sag? I update the grocery list in my mind:

Mental grocery list: bananas, pita bread, yogurt, someone who’ll still love me when I’m completely decrepit and will ensure that I’m always clad.

Coco is marveling at the sculpture’s stick thin calves and how gravity has taken such a toll on the breasts. Until my friend mentions that the two dark pointy nubs are actually nipples, I did not realize that those were breasts draped on the sides over the ribs. I assumed that I was looking at leathery flesh dotted with buttons. Because I have a few decades on my pal, and I’m much closer to looking like this withered snoozing crone than she, and that is not a comforting thought.

I wonder if there is someone out there that would actually buy this sculpture and display it in his or her house? It would be quite a conversation piece:

Sculpture Owner: Someone else bought Munch’s The Scream. That was when we decided to go in a completely other direction.

Shen’s even equipped this sculpture with a motor to make it appear to be breathing. I’m not sure how many D batteries are required nor do I know if they’re included with purchase

Foot traffic continues to move at a steady pace past the gallery. Let’s face facts; New York City pedestrians come very close to having seen it all.

Eh, just your average old lady tanning au naturale.

Eh, just your average old lady sculpture tanning au naturale.

Across the street, something even more shocking than this silica gel replica of a naked centenarian catches my eye. Once again, I’m completely captivated.

TV antenna in modern day Manhattan or rooftop art?

TV antenna in modern day Manhattan or rooftop art?

I cannot recall the last time I’ve seen a TV antenna in the thirty years that I’ve lived in Manhattan. It’s possible that I’ve never seen one here until this very day.

Me: Coco! Look up there!

Let's do the time warp again!

Let’s do the time warp again!

I point. Coco looks up. It’s her turn to look at me quizzically.

Me: Who still has a TV antenna in Manhattan in the year 2013?

Coco ignores my question and returns her attention to the sculpture.

Coco: Look, she even has a bunion on her foot!

Maybe in this case, "Untitled" would have worked better?

Maybe in this case, “Untitled” would have worked better?

To see more of Shen’s fascinating, freaky and disturbing work, click on this link. As with the elderly woman sculpture the animals in the series I Sleep On Top of Myself are motorized to appear to be breathing. As my grandmother would say:

Lame Granny: What will they think of next?

In Shen’s case, maybe we don’t want to know, but I imagine that if I saw it, I would not be able to look away.

Lame Adventure 100: The First Centennial

Since I launched this blog late last January, I had no idea I would write a second post much less ninety-nine more, but here it is my one hundredth lame tale.

To illustrate how much the number one hundred is lionized, I Google searched it and was directed to links to sites hawking “100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know” (count me out), as well as another about “100 Women in Hedge Funds.”  I have no clue what a hedge fund is but my mind wandered to thoughts of the hedges that were in my parents’ back yard.  Along that same line of deep thinking, I mentally time-traveled to “lettuce prey,” images of grasshoppers crawling over heads of lettuce I would envision whenever the priest in the church of my childhood, Jesus Christ This is Boring, would declare, “Let us pray.”

Image is not to scale unless you're six-years-old and and in church.

Google also had an Amazon.com link to a book called “The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own.”  Pictured below is the contents of my closet that I call “The Thirty: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Would Deny Owning.”

Why closets have doors.

The only link that Google displayed that intrigued me enough to click was “YouTube – 100 Greatest Hits of YouTube in 4 Minutes.”  It’s packed with those two YouTube staples – cats and kids as well as numerous numbskulls falling down painfully and a slew of dancing fools.  I enjoyed watching these clips immensely.

Considering that there are bloggers that easily crank out twenty or thirty posts a day, this milestone is minimalist.  Then, I brightened when it occurred to me that if I continue to write Lame Adventures an average of three times a week until I am age 100 that might be something to crow about.  I ran this idea by Milton:

Me:  What do you think we’ll be like if I’m still writing my blog when you’re 97 and I’m 100?

Milton:  Dead.

If my dear friend and I defy the odds and we both happen to be around several decades hence, perhaps that tale will go like this:

Lame Adventure 7345: My Centennial

Today, I am 100.

Even though I can no longer see or hear very well, my D-cup nose remains fully operational, which is a blessing and a curse.  Right now I smell the fragrant aroma of toast, unless my Columbia grad student neighbor, Schenectady, is wearing a massive amount of perfume that smells exactly like toast – a very real possibility.

Over my ten decades, I’ve witnessed countless fads, the hippie look, the punk look, the preppie look, the grunge look, the Goth look, the hipster look, the cowboy look, the zookeeper look, and my personal favorite, the I don’t care look.  I did not anticipate that after every imaginable look had been exhausted, fashionistas would zero in on scent with a fervor that smells exactly like that obsolete form of currency, cash.

I know I’m an old timer when I find myself sitting next to a pretty young thing on the subway train who reeks of cheeseburger or a ten topping pizza.  What is even more amazing to me is how men of all ages appear to be drawn to women that smell like pancakes, fried chicken or pie.  Classic fragrances of my day are not only soundly rejected by anyone who wants to be considered fashionable, I recently read an article in digital Vogue comparing Chanel No. 5 to embalming fluid.  That strikes me as sacrilegious.

Milton, my dear compadre, who I have taken to calling “Miss Jane Pittman” since he reached 90, will turn 97 next month.  He called me today:

Milton:  Happy birthday.  I’m so happy that you’re still alive.  How does it feel to be 100?

Me:  I feel like the poster child for tai chi.  Ling called and wished me a happy birthday.

Milton:  How is she?

Me:  She’s okay, but having a crisis over her granddaughter, who’s wearing some perfume that smells like soup dumplings.  We’re completely on the same page about hating this ridiculous trend.  I don’t get it.  Why do kids want to run around smelling like a deli counter?  Can you explain that to me?

The line is quiet.

Me:  Are you there?

Milton:  This could kill our friendship.

Me:  Spill it.

Milton (sheepish):  I sniffed a guy on the bus that smelled like waffles drenched in syrup … I got aroused; I even drooled a little.

I absorb this admission.

Me:  The next time you ride the bus, Mrs. Butterworth,  wear a bib.