Pretty much everyone was miserable after the scandal. Several of our friends’ lives were ruined and it was far from over. The mushroom cloud had not yet resolved itself, so to speak.
David said he wanted to come up from Providence so we could talk about it in person while drinking. He came and we talked about the arcane symbolism of the legal documents. David’s girlfriend came too but she went and stayed with her sister, who lives in the same town as me. We sat in a bar in my town drinking Budweiser and talking quietly about the scandal. David said the thing still wasn’t done unfolding. “The mushroom cloud still hasn’t resolved itself, if that makes sense.”
Some people sitting near us in the bar were on a date and they were discussing astrology. The woman was interested in astrology while the man pretended to be. She did not consider herself an astrologer, she said. The man said maybe the word is astrologist. She told him how the big dipper had changed over the years. How it used to look one way but now it looks another way. We rode our bikes home but you can’t see any constellations or Zodiac signs in the town where I live.
The next day we went to some galleries. We saw a bunch of paintings that were just blue paint on rectangular canvases. David’s girlfriend’s sister asked if I liked the art. I had no idea how the art made me feel. She said the paintings really glowed. She said the paintings all had what seemed like very specific dimensions. She said it was funny that they were like that. It did not occur to me that the dimensions were funny. She said, in conclusion, that the paintings were all blue, and that blue is a good color. No way was I going to disagree.
I lived in Germany once, for a year, several years ago. While I was there I took a German course and we took a field trip to an art museum in Stuttgart. We were asked to pick a work of art and write a short essay about it. I picked a painting called “Monochrome Blue” by Yves Klein. Es hat viele verschiedene Bedeutungen, I wrote. I thought this was funny.
I thought about that when David’s girlfriend’s sister walked away. I wondered why none of these blue paintings ever made me feel a single fucking thing.