(photo by sissychrissy)
For her first walk up the hill to Mae’s house, Drew doesn’t even need to put on shoes but she does, anyway, for the sake of appearance.
Mae’s assistant Holly meets her at the door and hands Drew a key and a clipboard. Holly is a nondescript woman of about fifty wearing amorphous black clothing, dull hair in a bob, and a deadpan expression. Drew pockets the key and signs her name and hands the clipboard back to Holly, who flips to the next page and reads aloud: “First, you should notice the artwork, all commissioned by Mae. You’ll find all the most avant-garde artists represented on these walls.”
Drew pauses by a pastel of an uncharacteristically svelte blonde. “But de Kooning didn’t really do this?” Holly’s eye rolls her way. “I didn’t mean to sound snotty, I’m just curious.”
“I just said I’m just a personal assistant. I don’t claim to be an art expert.” She taps her clipboard with the pen. ”I’m just reading you the words I have written in my notes. If you have any questions at the end, you’re welcome to ask her yourself. Follow me, please.”
Holly ambles slowly down the hall giving Drew plenty of time to recognize Mae’s likeness in each portrait they pass. There’s Mae with limpid eyes and dramatic drapery; one with a suit, a bowler and a moustache; here she is cubist, there pointilist, collage, or cartoon. If Drew opened the right door, would she find an emaciated artist chained to an easel?
They turn left into a large room. A white leather sectional frames a white lacquer coffee table in front of a carved stone mantel beneath an enormous interpretation of a Frida Kahlo ex voto; Mae sitting naked on a chair beside her brunette twin dressed in a white lace wedding dress. The Maes look towards the fourth wall with the same cryptic expression. They are attached by an umbilicus that stems from one naked navel and snaking across the floor and up the other’s white skirt.
While Drew gawks, Holly drums her fingertips on the clipboard lying flat across her lap. Finally, Drew pulls her eyes away to focus on the items lined up on the coffee table.
A large portion of this chapter has been deleted.
To read more, contact me and we can discuss publication. (!)
(photo by solo yo2 on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/42581424@N08/)