The only thing I used to be afraid of when I was little was the wind. Ask my mom. She asked me, "What are you afraid of?" and I said, "Nothing except the wind." And this was when it was howling, like it can in Denver, before the sky turns green and you run to the basement and put your head between your knees and picture your roof and the neighbors' golden retriever spinning inside a furious tornado. Tornadoes are pretty awesome. Take the movie Twister. There's such a chemistry between Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. What happened to Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton? I love that movie.
Back to the wind. Last night, Carol and I were at a little restaurant on Larimer savoring an assortment of wine and Italian delights when the wind started to push the adjacent umbrella over onto our table, just slightly, maybe two fingers-worth towards us. I noticed Carol becoming very uncomfortable.
"It's because I got hit by a Taco Tent in Mexico," she said, leaning over and eyeing it.
We decided to have the waiter take our slanty umbrella apart and put it away.
"It's because I got hit by a Taco Tent in Mexico," she said to him, not leaning anymore.
What happened to Carol was: "It was in the air, and everyone else was running, and it was just hovering for a while. Then it came right down out of the air onto my back, and knocked me over. When my friends found me, all they could see were my legs flailing around from under the tent before they pulled me out. I had cuts and bruises everywhere for weeks."
And THEN, I get an email today from Teenie directing me to the best story I've read in a long time, and its portents were:
A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an outdoor exhibit in a Swiss museum, downed a power line, and crashed through a window before touching down again. The flying poop then crashed through another window in an orphanage, and was finally harnessed while the museum decides whether or not to put it back on display. To provide an image, the turd was, according to the article:
"The size of a house."
What's wierd about the wind is it can feel like a deep dark diabolical force and then like nothing. The menus started blowing away and the fancy women next to us were touching their hair with their palms, and then, nothing. It just stopped. The sun came back out and a woman from the gallery next door came out and said:
"So...how does it look?"
And I said, "How does what look?"
And she said, "Madonna."
Inside the gallery window was a blonde girl posing next to a huge blue canvas smeared with pink.
"Don't you see Madonna?"
I didn't know if she meant the girl looked like Madonna or I wasn't seeing the right thing. Then I saw that the smeared paint was, in fact, Madonna's face, and I thought, you couldn't pay me to put that piece of "art" on my wall. Art? What is it? Ugly things and inflated excrement? I think not.
"Oh I see her now," I said.
"So does it look good?"
I was still confused. While the lady stepped back and cocked her head to the side and smiled, I whispered to Carol:
"Does what look good-- the painting or the girl standing next to the painting?"
"It looks good!" Carol told her and gave her a perfecto with her thumb and index finger.
Then the gallery lady bounded back inside.
"Where did she come from?" I asked Carol.
"I have no idea."
Then the lady was back in the window, smiling even wider, and parading by with huge canvasses. First, The Rolling Stones in black and white. Then a glittery Elvis. Then a purple Prince. She came back out.
"When you come inside, I'll show you those up close."
Carol and I looked at each other, and then our new friend was gone with the wind.