going back to saturday...

i forgot to tell you.

on saturday i took my 20 year old cousin jon, and his friends ben and david (for those of you who this makes sense to, david is robert's - robert as in jon's mother's boyfriend - son) to an art show downtown.

kofie/augie was in a group show at a gallery called crewest, primarily dedicated to graffiti art. it was, in part and parcel, a very good show, although there were portraits of both tupac and aliyah (though i have to say, the aliyah one was hugely klimt-inspired and was actually very interesting, given that i had no idea it was an aliyah piece until i checked the price list. the tupac piece was, by the way, $10,000.). ben wanted to go, cause ben wants to be a "writer" when he grows up.

the little boys were nervous, that was fun to note. and, given that it was the first time, like ever, i've hung out with my cousin and his friends, the chemistry was fun. i kept walking out of my shoes (i have narrow heels), and ben lost his cell phone battery, that kind of silly chaos. when we got to the (very crowded) gallery, i got them inside and then told them i'd look for k/a and then be back. when i turned around to look back at them, they were standing all together, facing eachother and shoulder to shoulder, darting their eyes around. my sweet sweet cousin and his friends who have never been to an art opening, and likely can't remember the last time they went to a museum...they were, perhaps, a little out of their element.

they recovered well, though. ben bought a "black book" and asked k/a and some other "writers" there to "hit it up for him". while k/a was drawing, ben told him of the difficulty he has drawing figures, that he's fine with lines, both abstract and architectural, but he can't seem to draw faces or characters.

"damn, man..." k/a said."all i'm hearing from you is this can't can't can't shit, how you can't get it together, how it doesn't work. you just need to do it. it doesn't need to be perfect. but god, you make it sound awful. man, you're making me not want to do it anymore..."

later, back in the car, shoes on and phone battery retrieved, jon asked me how old i was again. 31, i told him. he asked me how old k/a was. older than me, i said. though i guess not much. 32 or 33. it seemed like quite a bit more when i was 17 and he was 19...

and i thought, oh, 17. i think there is a rimbaud poem about 17. about lights being bright on the esplanade. most of my memories of 17 are at night, too. in the gray vw bug, driving down venice. painted fingernails. boys. k/a, who used to touch my jawbone for no discernable reason. my porch, sheltered in lattice, with its yellow light that always had spiders near it.

and i said, out loud, i don't know if my 17 or 18 or 19 was anything like you guys's. you have had it much harder than me, i think.

wars and half naked girls on tv and p diddy. we had two week long desert storms (not really, now that i come to think of it), and qtip, and yes, the la riots, but really, all that amounted to do was a week off of school. it was fun. i know that sounds ridiculous, but it was fun and innocent and making out on the floor of your bedroom at 4 in the afternoon, shirts on.

yeah, it sucks, we have it awful, said jon. but we're the youth revolution, said david. we are. we're the ones.

and i thought, youth revolution, and smiled. and then i thought, wait, is that a madonna album? or sonic youth? or was it a beastie boys song? and aw geez, i've got my icons all screwed up. it sucks being old.

but you know, jon said, i could deal with my 30 being like yours. you guys are cool. i could be like you when i'm 30. have friends who are artists, but have your own house...

and then we went back home to the boy, and the girldogs, and i bought the five of us way too much chinese food and we ate almost all of it, coughing through the spicy bits, and we watched kung fu movies until 1 am.


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