Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I hope they wear shawls

No one wears shawls anymore. Maybe they do in Venice, I've never been. John Singer Sargent would be bummed if they didn't. So much of "Street in Venice" depends on her shawl.

When you are a writer and your first job out of college is working for an art museum, you start to think, and write, about art. Sargent is one of those guys that struck the right balance for me in style, substance, emotion, palette. And like some of my favorite writers, he went after every day life. He didn't miss the moments where everything comes to a head. That singular moment where it's all happening, but it's up to you to figure out what.

The girl with the shawl. The cat to the right who can't take his eyes off of her. Her walk, the way she kicks her skirt. Where she is in the street, her pace, the idea that she is going to be out of view soon, so if homeboy wants to say something, to get her attention, he better do it. But he can't, he just stares, struck.

I don't think he has a chance anyway. She is clearly thinking of other things. Maybe she's just left being with her guy. Maybe she's contemplating if it's time to get out of Venice, go somewhere new. Maybe she needs a drink.

Red wine is good for warmth.

Venice seems like a place you'd drink red wine. I don't guess the craft brew movement has caught on there.

Maybe she's got a Josh Ritter song stuck in her head.

It's only a change of time.

Maybe her shawl isn't doing it's job, it's cold and her heart can't keep time's changes. Maybe she makes these walks more than she wants to.

Each time I start shaking, shivering, have to breathe.

It's the shawl though, the skirt hem. I lose Venice for them. I lose the guy's gaze. It's what's on her mind. Whether it is life, whether it is love, whether it is want.

I still want a chance. More than anything.

I've never been to Venice. I don't know how people dress there. But I hope they wear shawls.

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