Rodney Graham: That’s NotMe/Four Seasons (BALTIC Gateshead, 2017)
For a moment, I was taking a moment. I’m not normally a smoker, I’m not always a smoker. I don’t skive off. But the birch was sturdy and weren’t my slip-on clogs also ‘slip-off’ clogs, too? Bugger the grass stains. Bugger my chef’s whites. Is it ever so warm that a goateed cook can sit outdoors like that, like an everyday thing? When was this, and what was I thinking about? Hard to imagine. Hard to put myself ‘in his clogs’, so to speak. I’m not a thoughtful type. I’m not normally a smoker, but plastering is physical work and this dust mask has me gasping, and what else can I do, in the wintry studio, up here on my drywall stilts?
What was on my mind? On ‘his’ mind, I should say. It must have been some time ago. Patently, it’s my line-of-work no longer. The kitchenhands had pissed him off. And the head chef was no better. But this really was a glorious specimen of birch, the best in the whole arboretum, probably the whole city. No, he wasn’t thinking about anything at all. He was daydreaming. He was in his formal dress of powder blue, in his breeches, his stockings, his wig – shaved and perfumed; the apple blossom was pink against the brooding, purple sky. It was the gardens of Versailles. He had taken off his tricorne. No, he was thinking nothing at all. Let him be!
I’d taken off my ...
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