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Still, I Only Have Eyes For Her

washington monument, washington dc, national mall, night sky in washington

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.”

doug aitken, i only have eyes for you, washington dc, hirshhorn museum, installation art

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………

I only have eyes for you, art installation, hirshhorn museum, washington dc, avant garde performance art

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.

She only had eyes for me, and I for her.

A repost, of sorts, in honor of the beginning of Valentines Month (rewritten by MTM to give ALW a break for a night)

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. James Moffitt #

    I enjoyed your blog post Michael. I must say that you are quite an accomplished writer. :) Your music selection too me back to memory lane. I can remember my parents playing this kind of music on their record player. You may not remember this but back in the day entertainment centers were considered pieces of furniture with all of the electronic gizmos inside. They were made out or real wood and not the particle board crap that stuff is made out of today. Well anyway, that is a very romantic song and I am glad that you and Andra took the time to dance in the midst of all that was going on around you. Katy and I need to do more of that. :)

    February 3, 2013
    • mtm #

      Thanks James, but the writing credit rally goes to Andra…she wrote this to honor me the first time, and I simply flipped it around on her to honor her.

      February 3, 2013
      • James Moffitt #

        awww that is so sweet. I am glad that you two are so good to one another. It is an example to the rest of us.

        February 4, 2013
  2. Awww….. Wuv, Twu Wuv. The two of you deserve each other. You are made for each other. You are like puzzle pieces in the jigsaw of life.

    And you are a week early for Valentine’s Day. ;)

    February 3, 2013
  3. A cyborg with a wheel for an ear, as romantic a notion as there has ever been.

    February 3, 2013
  4. Loved this, BOTH times ’round!

    February 3, 2013
  5. tarakianwarrior #

    It was lovely the first time and just as lovely the second. You two are a beautiful example of love. Thank you for sharing and allowing some of us to truly believe.

    February 3, 2013
  6. Uplifting today, Andra :-)

    February 3, 2013
  7. Ah, how sweet! My partner Sara has tried to give me a blogging break from time to time.

    Please tell Andra I’m sorry to have been so absent recently. Selling our house in the US and moving to Ecuador has proven more all-consuming than I might have imagined.


    February 3, 2013
  8. I’ve always wanted to enjoy a cyclorama. This sounds like an interesting one, but I think the point of the story wasn’t the glories of the entertainment, but the shared dance with a cherished partner. Perfect for Valentine’s month. Hope Andra enjoyed the rest…I have no idea how she maintains the writing schedule she does!

    February 3, 2013

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