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Made Up Conversation From A Party In An Art Gallery

Recently at a gallery party where bad pinot flowed like blood and one could overdose on shrimp, I had the opportunity to people-watch since the art on the walls was boring.

In my people watching, I spotted a couple (man and woman) who seemed so mismatched that they had to be on a first date. They were down on the main floor, and I was up in a balcony, so I could see their body language clearly but not hear them.

I would say they were both in their mid to late thirties. The man was completely bald. He had started to lose his hair and decided to just shave the rest of it off. He wore a suit, white shirt, and his tie was loose. He looked like he had just gotten off work and was looking to just chill out. The woman also looked like she had just gotten off work. She wore nice pants and a beige silky sweater. She had curly hair parted in the center and wore funky brown plastic glasses (those ones where the frames are rectangles). She had a nice bag (black of course) and a black blazer over her arm. However, she looked like she had never chilled out a day in her life. She was hunched over slightly forward. I had two theories for this. One, she was weighed down by her blazer and handbag. Two, she was desperate to get to whatever was right in front of her (which most of the time was nothing but air). Both the man and the woman had glasses of white wine.

This is what I imagined they said. . .

Woman: Isn't this great. I just love art. Do you love art?

Man: Yeah. It's nice.

Woman: All the colors and look at that one, the lines, in the space pulling the viewer in. It's very reminiscent of Pollack and maybe possibly Miro. I love the abstract expressionists. Such strong lines. And look at that piece how the colors seem to fade into each other. Reminds me of the impressionists. It's very Monet. And then that one over there. The red one. It just doesn't work for me.

Man: I kind of like that one.

Woman: It's too bold, too gaudy. It lacks balance. Too much passion, too much red. It's a little obvious.

Man: Maybe, reminds me of a nice warm fire.

Woman: Hmmm. Yes, I can see. The hearth and home idea. Although I think it could use more yellow. Yellow's a very homey color to me. Yellow kitchens, baked bread, corn on the cob. I love to eat.

(A waitress comes by with a tray of little meat pastries. The man takes one and eats it.)

Woman: No, I'd better not. Once I start eating those things, I can't stop. Gotta watch the carbs.

(The waitress goes away.)

Woman: Not that I'm carb obsessed or anything. I just like to watch what I eat. I'm not twenty-one anymore.

Man: Who is anymore?

Woman: Can't be out on the dance floor anymore. No more crazy dances for me. That time is past.

(The man does a silly dance. The woman laughs.)

Woman: (looking around) They got a nice crowd tonight. It's a nice mix. I think it's important to get out and support the arts. Don't you think. Without the arts, there would be no arts, no creativity.

Man: No waiters.

Woman: A culture needs creativity. It can't move forward and thrive. We need to invent things.

Man: Like what?

Woman: I don't know. A lot has already been invented. Like cell phones. They make our lives easier. Where would we be without cell phones?

Man: Calling for our messages on pay phones?

Woman: That's a lot of loose change.

(A waitress comes by with a tray of breaded shrimps.)

Waitress: Shrimp?

Woman: Oh those look so good.

(The man and woman both take pieces of shrimp off the tray.)

Woman: (to waitress) Thank you so much.

(The man eats the shrimp. The woman continues to hold the shrimp.)

Woman: So do you read the New Yorker?

Man: The New Yorker? Uhm. No.

Woman: There was a really great review of that new movie, Crash, in it recently.

Man: Oh.

Woman: Did you see Million Dollar Baby?

Man: Uh. No.

Woman: The guy who wrote Million Dollar Baby wrote and directed Crash. Million Dollar Baby was such a good movie. It made me cry, and I don't even like boxing. Too brutal. What do you need?

Man: I was just wondering where the shrimp waitress went off to.

Woman: Well you can eat mine if you want it?

Man: No, that's yours. I'll just try to get another one.

Woman: No really, you're hungry. Eat my shrimp. I haven't even breathed on it. It's fine. Here. Have it. I'm not really that hungry anyway.

Man: I don't know.

Woman: It's okay. Take it. I was going to throw it out. It's a perfectly good piece of shrimp. Wouldn't want it to go to waste.

(The Man hesitates then takes the Shrimp from the Woman. He then eats it.)

Woman: There. That wasn't so bad was it?

Man: Tasty.

Woman: Some people are so picky about their food.

Man: Excuse me a second. Do you want more wine?

Woman: Yes!

Man: I'll be right back.

Woman: I'll be right here.

The man heads off in the direction of the men's room. The woman stands there for a moment. She shifts her posture. She doesn't know how to stand.

When the man returns, the woman goes to him, and they are no longer in my view. As I leave the gallery, the Man and Woman are still there in the middle of a crowd talking to each other. The Man seems to be smiling more. Maybe it was the wine.

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