Andy is in his new fall boots, and you are in yours. Every so often, you notice him smiling down at his new pointy toes, pleased. You talk most of the way. Andy always listens now until you are done, all talked out, and ready to listen. Your internal battery is low but doesn’t die. You are telling him about the hash fairy. Last summer, you had stood listening to cicadas while staring at the way the leaves sparkled on a sapling planted by the Neighborhood Beautification Committee (NBC), wishing for the first time in your life that you had some hashish. Out of nowhere, your nostrils had filled with patchouli/body odor and you turned to see a young hippy in a dirty tam, who then asked if you wanted to smoke hash with him. You said no.
At this same tree where the fairy had appeared, you see a woman you think you know from a scene and turn the corner so you don’t have to recognize her, because you are tired of faking it. You don’t tell Andy because it will disappoint him. On this block, a local news station van unloads equipment in front of the dumpy house with the broken toilet in the yard. The newscaster in his nice sage suit looks unpleasant and attractive in a boring way. He chats with the cameraman, fussily running his hands over the front of his suit. As you pass by, you and Andy both look over your shoulders at the dumpy house, and realize this is just the sort of shot that would be in the news clip: two well-attired adults walking by looking with disinterested curiosity at the neighborhood eyesore, although you don’t know if the camera is even rolling, and you don’t look at them to see because you don’t want to look as if you care. Andy meets your sidelong gaze with his black lenses that emanate a vague benevolence toward your completion of an action that was expected of you.
For this reason you and Andy turn to face the cameraman. Hi MOM! Hi MOM! I love you! I love you! You shout and shout and shout, with your hands and shopping bags pushed high above your heads, although your mom will not be watching. This part will probably be cut, although you know this is where your narrative will continue, extending on a dotted trajectory outside the frame of the television, beyond the monitor on an arc that will not end in a place that you can see.
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Christina Louise Smith is a writer and graphic designer in Tucson, AZ. Currently, she has a graduate teaching assisantship and is pursuing her M.A. in Literature at the University of Arizona, where she also received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing. She likes to show off the latest book cover she designed for Heather Cousins’ intriguing first full-length collection of poetry, Something in the Potato Room from Kore Press (11/09), where Christina was Managing Editor until December 2009. Her poems will appear in the February 25, 2010 edition of Backroom Live, featuring guest editor Barbara Cully. When she is not busy writing, reading, or working, she’s been known to fry up an overabundance of chorizo tacos, an act she recently proclaimed to be the only thing in the entire world that makes her truly happy—although she loves to wander, scavenge, and wave to strangers.
This is the fifth of five stories by Christina, written at our request, to accompany the radio plays we did for Powhaus Productions' POP!: A Celebration of the Cultural Contribution of Andy Warhol and His Factory, at the Rialto Theater, Feb 26, 2010. The stories and the radio plays are unrelated, only presented simultaneously.
"Andy Takes an Afternoon Nap"