it ain’t over till the fat lady sings

Posted on May 16, 2009


Gray shallow waters stay with us on summer mornings when Lucky Pierre (an out-of-control puppet built around the fleshly fantasies of novelist Robert Coover) and others shag themselves shackle-free to escape their living conditions. It’s all a bit kinky these days. And at the same time more prudish than ever before. Bare breasts wherever you look while … uh, how to finish this sentence so it sounds true?

―Sometimes I write just to write, said the bearded writer.

―Well that’s ok though isnt it, said his wife who supported him through thick and thin suggesting that the couple wiggled through a variety of physically challenging circumstances. You just need to get the junk out first to get to the jewels beneath, she said.

―OK then I just go ahead and write what comes into my fat head? He asked again, but she was already in her thoughts a busybee by her very nature: she was placing coloured squares of Japan paper on top of canvasses, which does not sound exhausting, but it was because of the infinite number of choices involved.

This is perhaps the very crux of art, where the true artist meets his fate, when wheat separates from chaff – making choices. The true artist will not try to whittle them down in order to reduce his pain. Most of the rest of your life is a slow process of getting to less choices: it’s like losing cutlery in your house  –  finally, you’ve got one fork left and you’re stuck on its end. You might or might not see the famous light at the end of a tunnel which you are supposed to walk towards. (As a child I asked myself: what happens if you don’t do that? What if you simply stopped and waited for someone to beg you or show you the way, or explain to you what’s going on? Or if you went backwards like a rebellious fly flying away from the light.)
But hey, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.

―Sweetie how do you do it? he whistled, sweet as pie.

―How do I do what?

―How do you decide which colored square to place where.

―I don’t know, honey, I really don’t know. That’s called composition on the page. How do you decide which word comes next?

He paused for a moment. Considered his process, you might say if you were managerially inclined. He drew a moment’s inspiration from his dirty fingernails, transfixed, using the thumbnail of his left hand to try and clean the nails of the other fingers. It didn’t work, but the answer to her question came anyway:

―It just comes to me. It just flows you know when you press hard enough, he said.

―Sounds like puss to me, she laughed, and tickled him, and he stopped doing whatever he was doing with his nails at the time and dug his chin under her chin giving her a big, sloppy kiss which, for a moment, felt on her skin as if she had collided with an ice cream cone. Good heavens – lovers!

© Finnegan Flawnt (be-mused by @memebee who provided the idea 4 the title)