Saturday, October 11, 2008

I blew Andy Warhol up

Jazz here. I only point this out lest someone think that The One True Tami (blessed be Her name) performed a morally questionable act on a 60's pop star.

When I was younger, I kept a series of those leather bound books full of blank paper where you penned your private thoughts, poems, prose, random drawings and insanity. I was never entirely sure why I did it. I suppose that I thought I would eventually publish some, if not all of the contents. In my youth I suffered from the illusion that everyone would find me simply fascinating if they were only given enough time and exposure to my peculiar and compelling personality. I later went through phases when I became depressed over the world's abject failure to recognize my brilliance followed by consolation and relief over the realization that pretty much everyone found themselves more fabulous than anyone else ever would or could.

It was in one of these dream journals that I penned the following during the late seventies:
If you're going to use a clamshell for an ashtray, always leave some cigarette butts - or at least some ashes - in it. If it's too clean, people will think it's a decoration and not an ashtray and they'll just flick ashes on your rug.
I don't recall what combination of drugs and alcohol were in charge of my synaptic connections when I wrote that, but we were, apparently, making gods out of trash in those days. There's actually some truth in what I wrote there, but in terms of depth or profound meaning, it was somewhat lacking. (And that's being charitable.) Truth there is, but it's a truth only truly useful if you are either so impoverished or fashion challenged that you would actually use clamshells for ashtrays. Even then it only applied to smokers or friends of smokers.

I had a good dozen of them scattered around my apartment.

I was enthralled with Andy Warhol in those days. Of course, I was late to the party as usual. I had only discovered how amazing and enthralling Warhol was long after everyone else. By the time I was on board, the Cool Kids had already moved on to the Next Great Thing and I was left worshiping at the alter of somebody who had long since been proclaimed Yesterday's News. Story of my life, I suppose. I was always the last to discover anything wonderful. The only possible exception might have been Jane's Addiction. I heard them, quite by accident, when they showed up at a bar outside of Chula Vista, got hold of a tape of their early material, and was briefly one of the Cool Kids when "Jane Says" became all the rage for five minutes.

But other than that, I only seemed to catch on to things after they had peaked and then begun to wither. And when I finally caught on, they would seem to disappear. The same thing happened with Warhol. In the end, I'm convinced I blew him up.

Just for the record, though, I never provided him with any oral favors.

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