Saturday, 20 November 2010

Morning Snow

Deatail of A Picture Emphasizing Stillness by David Hockney

'In the winter of 1968 Peter and I took the Orient Express to Munich, to see a show of mine. I remember one morning when we were both on the bottom bed, we opened the curtains, and it was snowing. It was fantastic to lie in the little couch with a nice warm body next to you, gazing out the window at the cute little Bavarian villages half hidden under the snow. It’s a wonderful way to travel. I never photographed it, but I remember it vividly.

Later, we went onto Vienna. We took the subway and Peter went in the next carriage; there he stood, looking back at me as I photographed him. At the next station he joined me and I again took a photograph, still looking at the same place, and he is gone. It was not planned, it just happened that way.'--
Hockney, circa 1982

The man who used to cut my hair had this habit of telling me everything about his romantic life, everytime I visited, and I was happy to listen because he would always give me a discount.

He was, for a time, in a terrible relationship with a woman who didn't acknowledge him in her public life, not even to friends. He only existed for her as a sort of secret caretaker, life-organizer, and lover...Anyway, I would nod and listen like a good substitute therapist as he told me of his ongoing trials with her. All this endless drama, but also about another woman, a good friend, who had moved in next door to his father in London and whom he visited from time to time for platonic cups of tea and battle-scar-comparing conversation. Then they decided to end these little meetings, before anything did happen.

One February morning, a few months later, he awoke in his own flat after a dreadful evening with his girlfriend who lived just around the corner. There had been an unexpectedly heavy snowfall that night and the streets were completely white, the city asleep. He stepped outside and he knew in his head that if he walked to the left he would be doing the usual thing: he would be going back to make up, yet again, with his femme fatale, doing the same old damage control routine. So, seeing all this snow, all this emptiness, this peace, this silence, and seeing it (he told me) as a giant blank page, he turned right and started walking. Having no real idea where he was going, he simply got in his car and drove.

Eventually, he ended up at his father's house. He rang the bell of his lady-friend's house next door, but she didn't answer--in fact, wouldn't answer knowing it was him, and knowing he was still in a relationship. So he went into his father's snowy backyard and dashingly scaled the fence, shouting for her to come down and let him in.

They are now married and have a son.

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