Still, I Only Have Eyes For Her
Steam blew out of her mouth and fogged her glasses against the backdrop of the night sky. Rubber-and-leather-clad feet crunched on gravel, echoing against the whip of flags in the wind, the sirens, the thrum of jet engines. Even with the ghostly pencil of stone carving a swath between a crescent moon and two planets, she sighed. The National Mall on a windy night wasn’t her idea of a fun slog after a zig-zagging day of work, dashing from place to place to place around the District.
Strains of music drifted over the cacophony of urban noise. The reason we came. I (MTM) had a meeting at the National Endowment for the Arts on Wednesday, directing the mission of our dark perambulations. Andra let me frag her along to DC; then she let me drag her to see the thing a colleague had deemed “expletive-deleted (rhymes with mucking) amazing.”
Song 1 by Doug Aitken at the Hirshhorn Museum. A circular building turned into a cyclorama canvas of throbbing loneliness and pulsing sound, threading all the way around the building in a seamless story told in the strains of a few bars of the same song. Forty minutes of “I Only Have Eyes For You.”
Yeah. I know. What kind of husband foists such a thing on his unsuspecting spouse?
But, as Andra picked her way through a plot of pansies to sit on a pebble-encrusted wall, she forgot to blow heat onto her chilly hands. She didn’t remember to fidget because her perch was uncomfortable. Craning her neck didn’t feel unnatural. As a stereo of abandoned strains twirled in front of her, she soaked in the light of the moon, the beams of Jupiter and Venus, the strobing beat of the projected story………
And, she later said, she wanted to dance. To the various interpretations of the same thing. Set to the music of the mechanical thrum of a factory. The heat of rush hour traffic. The flinty strike of a match. Tilda Swinton in silk pajamas, scrolling dizzily around the darkened disc. Our feet made time to the beat overhead as we joined the song.
In the garden.
Along a crowded avenue.
Under the crescent moon.
Where millions of people have gone by.
A repost, of sorts, in honor of the beginning of Valentines Month (rewritten by MTM to give ALW a break for a night)