There’s Got to Be More Space

Why an artist should not be a journalist, or should.

11/17/2008

By, YOU

You forgot blue was your favorite color.
You changed it to be noble because everyone’s favorite color is blue.
You realized it was more noble to still like blue, even though everyone else does.
Jeans fabric isn’t naturally blue.
You didn’t realize that did you?
Think about that.
Pay attention in class. Go to the bathroom. Eat. Tell someone you notice them. Tell someone they’re beautiful. Blue. Think about that. Look up popular English words used for names in China.
Listen.
Blue is happy & sad. Light & dark. It’s everything.
Did you know black isn’t a color. It’s every color of paint at once.
Paint a canvas black with no black paint. That’s the true meaning of Dada. Make a whole series to prove a point.
Label it “NOT BLACK.” Paint a million canvases with every color of paint.
Then realize you can make every color with red, yellow and blue.
Pink isn’t a color.
It’s a tint of red.
Did you know that?
Black is actually the absence of color.
What’s your favorite color & why?
Think about it.
Go to Kmart at 8 AM. Buy the biggest box of crayons.
Then go to a park and ask kids to pick their favorite color.
See what colors are left.
Don’t tell the (DO TELL THE) girl in pink that pink is a tint, not a color.
Explain the theory of tints and shades to children. Find real life examples. Lay in the shade with sun glasses on.
Listen to the sunscreen song.
Explain that education is important because without knowledge, our minds would be black.
Then show them the canvas called “NOT BLACK.” Ask them what colors they see now.
Tell them to paint a canvas “NOT BLACK.”
Then pull out the first canvas — flip it over. Realize it was titled “black.”
Remember that the canvases look the same & you forgot to ask if they could read.
Instead of yelling at the child that mocks you for not being able to read. Tell him the truth.
You’re actually blind.
Give everyone the book “What the blind people see” By, Oliver Sacks. When they don’t believe you, tell them they saw the yellow paint on the colorless canvas.
When they still don’t believe you, take out your glass eye.
Give everyone a marble to take home.
Tell them to think about that.
Real hard.
Tell them to pick their favorite color in the world. Tell them it can be anything. Tell them to think about it and come back tomorrow to return your marbles.
You’ve lost yours.
You actually gave someone your glass eye.
You don’t know who.
The next day, everyone forgets to bring their marbles back.
You ask them what their favorite colors are.
They say blue.
Some are looking at the sky.
Some are trying to be your best friend.
Some don’t want to disappoint you.
Others really like the color blue.
Ask them why.
The next time someone asks you your favorite color, tell them “not black” and explain why the color black does not exist.
Tell them you’re indecisive.
Explain why brown is your favorite color.
Explain why yellow is your favorite color.
Explain why pink is not your favorite color.
Then tell them they are being intrusive.
Only one person knows your real favorite color.
When they try to guess, distract them.
Change the subject.
Ask them a question.
Everyone loves to talk about themselves.
It’s not selfish.
It’s education.
“Professor, will you tell us about yourself, your real life story?”
“Well, there once was this boy who’s name was Matt. (Don’t worry, everyone’s name is Matt) His dad worked at a pencil factory. He brought in chocolate scented pencils. The Dad was worried that he might embarrass his son because he only worked at a pencil factory. So he told all the children the pencils tasted like chocolate. All the kids chewed the pencils while he talked. They left teeth marks all over.
You sniffed yours.
You knew it wasn’t actually chocolate.
Well three of you did.
Your best friend #10.
Matt.
The dad.
None of you chewed your pencils.
Now you know why people like to keep things perfect.
Now you know why it’s important to look under the blue bird of happiness. Now you know why lawn gnomes should be kept outside or why your mother’s picture from when she was a little girl is the most precious thing in the world.
Tell your parents why you want to hear their stories.
Tell everyone why you want to get to know them.
Don’t talk about yourself at all today.
People look at you funny, but you don’t care.
Now you know why some people wear sunglasses inside.
Now you know why you noticed the number 39.
But you want to know why the number 33 is important.
You want to know why your editor thought it was necessary to take out the numbers 111, 112, and 113. You were giving everyone an assignment on reading. People are inquisitive when they don’t understand things. The only thing your editor needs to do tonight is tell you that he understands why this wasn’t turned in at 8:04. Why it can’t be 17 inches every week. Why it’s okay to be late sometimes. And why he hasn’t given you any corrections.
You like constructive criticism.
You are aware that everyone learns differently, but some people won’t let go of the system. Though you’ve decided that because you respect education you aren’t going to give it up yet. You’ve decided  that some things are more important.
Like tradition.
You are going to return all of the things you borrowed to their owners for Christmas because you are $50,000 in debt.
You really believed your dad when he told you that you could do anything.
You are so proud that your dad is a school bus driver.
Because on the yellow bus, he can be anyone’s dad.
All you want is him to tell you all the stories of the little kids.
He is your muse.
You really are your mother.
You know that your mom read your diary when you were little and you want her to tell you why she never talked to you about sex. Then maybe you wouldn’t have been afraid of it until the day you realized your lucky number is not ten.
You realized that you’ve been trying to figure out the joke that was written on the ceiling since second grade.
You finally realized it said gullible.
You finally decided it is ok to talk about sex.
And write about.
But some people really don’t get it and just because you do- they might wait until they are 22 to actually let go and GUFFAW.
You realized the meaning of life is love.
You really want to know why your professor doesn’t like the Beatles.
You’ve been trying to figure out why David Chapman shot John Lennon and you finally realized that you are going to have to read Catcher in the Rye at least three more times to find out.
The first book you ever read was Taxi Cat & Huey.
Your sister taught you how to multiply when you were eight.
You and your tenth friend realized that you outsmarted the system in second grade. You had a student teacher who kept getting mad at you for going up to the white board to take notes. Your mom kept telling you not to sit so close to the TV. She said it would ruin your eyesight. Your tenth friend thought you were a magician when you told her that if you squint, you could read. Now you know why you hated red whiteboard markers.
You realized on the tenth day why you always wished you were short. Why you always wanted to be Asian. What your favorite color actually is. Why the number four was significant today. The difference between dog people, and cat people. The meaning of familiar. Italian culture. Memory. Fear. Nervousness. Confrontation. Patience. Humility. Who God really is. And why you should always leave your car doors unlocked. If you want to know I will tell you.
Just ask.
Not today.
Today is about you.
I’ll tell you the answer tomorrow.
Keep looking.
I seem to have stumbled on a tangent.
We’re all actors.
We’re all liars.
We’re all ugly and beautiful.
We all wear ten different hats.
Today you found the perfect hand bag and you know why the homeless are homeless and the meaning behind the pinholes.
“What’s your favorite number and why?”
Tell them to change standardized tests for the art students.
Tell them they need to rethink their intentions.
Write letters.
Keep in touch.
Give a really, really early Christmas present.
Tell them they need to rethink their intentions.
Tell them, this is why you can’t judge art nouveau. Just because you didn’t get the canvas with no paint, covered with jeans fabric at the time doesn’t mean it was created unintentionally. Ask them if they thought jeans fabric was naturally blue. When they tell you that they’ve never thought about it, tell them they should be more Socratic. When they think you’re pompous, tell them they should learn how to listen better. Tell them they need to be more curious. Tell them all your problems. Be human. Ask someone if they are okay.
Email your professor and inform them that you aren’t coming to class today. Instead, you’ll be at Kmart, the park, laying in the shade with sun glasses on. Actually, today’s pretty full of this life stuff and you’re ready to graduate because you’ve realized the system is broken and the pages are so blank full of me this piece of paper has no meaning.
Then tell them you’re not giving up. You just need a break.
They shake their head & say “kids.”
You both depart, but you’re not on the same page. One of you was talk thinking about diplomas, and one was talk thinking about the many uses for the blank pages pages at the beginning & end of the book & how bizarre and sad it is to fill the reservoir of tears with trust and not with blood find the blank pages in the middle of the book. But then you’ve realized those blank pages aren’t so scary.
You finally get Yoda’s frustration & it’s unclear who got more out of was the teacher. You fill the reservoir of tears.
But it’s unclear if you’re happy or sad, but it doesn’t matter. And you’ll never poke dogs with balloon sticks again. When your professor marks your next absence, or assumes this generation just doesn’t care – for Christmas, buy them the biggest box of crayons you can find.
Ask them how long they stood in the toilet paper aisle, ask them why we call it the living room and why they got mad when you break Nanna’s urn. What was it doing inside anyway?
When neither of you knows why, you both start laughing so hard you’re actually crying. And —Nanna’s right there with you saying, HELLO—some of us are trying to sleep—stop crying and sweep up. You both look up for a moment, wondering where that breeze came from and suddenly symbolism is everywhere and you feel naked and exposed. So when you don’t go to class today, don’t lie.
Tell them they have created such a noisy place that you can only get things done at night. The “vet” who was actually a 41 year old chef was the only person that knew all the answers, ask me what the vet knew. I’ll tell you at the beginning.
Tomorrow your professor opens an email that reads. “I’m truly sorry I’m not at class today, I had to go to Kmart to buy these crayons and I have no idea where the day is going to go from there. I’ll be out living until I’m ready to put meaning to this $50,000 $1,000 piece of paper. Then suddenly you realized everyone noticed all along. And you feel bad for not trusting them or judging them. But you want them to realize why you can’t always answer your phone.
And on Tuesday someone decides Tuesdays are a national holiday, called “One more chance day, okay 11, let’s get married date, but I can’t go out with you tomorrow, I hope you understand why I need to sleep until 7, I hope it’s raining, please read Salinger’s first 9th Story.”
Edit that. I’ll be sleeping.