two by ten
one of the things I love about this project is the absolute unpredictable nature of the situations it facilitates. when I left my house at 8 this morning and drove an hour + 10 minutes to cameron, i thought i'd be pasting by myself while listening to whatever i desired on my ipod. because i didn't get much sleep last night, my energy was low. upon arriving on site, i slowly went about the process of getting everything set up. the right music this morning felt like terence blanchard "choices."
before i even started pasting this navajo guy got out of a pick up truck with an 18 pack of budweiser and approached me saying "...you can't stay here. you've got to leave," before bursting out into laughter saying "...naw - i'm just fucking with you." little did i know that i'd chosen his drinking spot to do an installation.
he said his name is chris. because he felt i looked like a reggie, that was what he called me for the next 2.5 hours. chris said he wondered who did this "art shit" so he was happy to find out it was reggie. he and his wife had been up all night gambling at a casino some 2 hours away. apparently she'd gotten paid yesterday and off they went. though trained as an engineer, chris can't find work around cameron so he spends his time at home while his wife works as a dental assistant in tuba city. his not working and drinking is a source stress with his wife and in-laws.
things didn't go as they'd hoped at cliff castle casino. since it was his wife's money, chris used what little he had at the bar trying to seduce the young, pretty apache bartender while his wife was seduced by lady luck. it didn't go well for his wife. she lost over $400.00 and bitched at chris on the all too long drive home for letting her lose her paycheck gambling. attempting to escape her vitriol, he retreated to his favorite drinking spot at 9 in the morning with an 18 pack of bud only to find reggie.
for the next several hours i heard about him appearing as an extra in "midnight run" with robert deniro (whom he identified as an intellectual lightweight - "there's a reason people go into acting," he said), italian tourists who camped close to his home who said he was too handsome to be navajo, problems with his wife and her family, and the plethora of women who want to sleep with him. (somehow he didn't see a connection between the latter 2.) it was one of the most entertaining installations i've ever done. he believes the moon landing was a fake because if they did it once, why didn't they keep going back? "why go to the moon only once?" chris dislikes republicans and sees them as greedy obstructionists who care only for themselves. "the thought of actually having a black president is driving them nuts." he wanted to hear black sabbath rather than the hip hop mix i played, though that didn't stop him from dancing.
"if anybody ever gives you any shit, send them to me. i've got your back," he said. and happy as a fly in fresh wheat paste (having had 2 buds by 10 a.m.), i told him that reggie had his back as well. we toasted, drank to our chance meeting and acknowledged that we made one another's morning.