Egon and I, You Know, Just Look at our Foreheads, for Starters

by Shaina

While I walked, I thought, maybe the pleasure in museums is
a little thing that lives inside my hangover, feasting on my
vulnerability, and this moves me, because
otherwise it all becomes very The Emperor’s New Clothes,
and I’m too eager to love the paint, and that
erodes breathing and walking into chores…and I wouldn’t even say
hunger would help at all, but just this mix
of exhaustion and frayed brain and blasé relationship
to the body is perfect, and I just ghost around.  At the
portraits exhibit, I even thought maybe I
was Egon Schiele, because he died not
much older than me, and I think maybe we feel similarly about
ribs and hating ourselves enough to love ourselves at people…but
I knew I was not him–rather a friend that should’ve been, us
and our masturbatory humor and aesthetic both, paired with id
frequencies and the way that for us everything is blasphemed in
our wake…just enough to tilt the people so we can grin about it but
maybe sometimes wish we left a few things sacred.  And maybe
that’s why I bought linen towels after my time with Egon…to restore
order with blankness and creased white.  He and I smear everything,
I think, and sometimes I get tired from rubbing down the world
with gouache, even though it needs the color.  The dirtiness is
where we divide from it all, I guess, like, and I laugh, imagining what
if they ran a blue light over our lives, all that gouache everywhere…what
the fuck, they would say, I think.  This necessary fragility is in the cycle
of gouache, much in the way Egon might smirk with me over
some kind of amethyst necklace, you know, they say amethyst is
Greek for “not drunk.”  And maybe Egon would’ve been the one
to ask whether muses are good or really just an obstruction of the
self and free will and all that shit.  Maybe that’s what he meant, like I
am Egon not Wally and certainly not Edith.  Or who is this Egon
character I keep painting…it appears he is me, as the mirror suggests.  We’re
always naked, but only in indirect proportion to the emperor, and
in this way, life has some truth to it…

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