Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Truth About Whores

"Beware of whores that don't want money. The Hell they don't. What they mean is that they want more money." William Burroughs.

Several years ago I had occasion to visit the Elk Gallery on Crosby Street.

Jocko Weyland was curating a photography exhibition of lurid bloody vistas of wild Italian youth.

Punk, guns, and drugs with a little nakedness.

A 50 year-old art critic deemed the pictures derivative.

"You are a cynic without any feel for the future or past."

"And you are who?" He sounded like a Harvard boy. They possessed a free pass with bad grammar.

"No one special, but these photos have more of a feel than those at the Diane Arbus show I saw in Paris." I would have only hung one of those pictures on my wall. It was a photo of a movie theater.

"But why?" He wasn't getting it.

"Because I'm an ex-junkie." I never was a junkie, but saying so sounded wicked in these modern times.

"What's your name?" The critic wanted to add me to his enemies list.

"Who I am is unimportant. Really."

I don't lie and walked off to the cheap white wine table.

The artist, a skinny 20 year-old Italian man came over to shake my hand.


Abe Formenti was his name. Jocko liked his work. It reminded me of Danny Lyons or Richard Kern. That was a good thing.

Per niente." That exchange exhausted my Italian.

"I'd like to shoot you injecting heroin." The young artist had overheard my declaration.

"Sure." I thought it out a little more. "Only if you get me the heroin and a needle. I'll provide everything else. Setting and ambiance."

Abe took my number and introduced me to his young girlfriend.

"I like old junkies." She smiled with a missing tooth.

The critic joined us and asked, "Are you trying to be a legend?"

"Who cares?" I've ceased wanting anything more than a couple of beers before I go to sleep, however I wouldn't mind doing a little dope with a couple of near-naked Italian girls. Abe and I left the soiree with the girls. Thankfully they weren't able to score any dope.

Call me square. Never a legend. I've lost my name.

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