Best kind of friend

From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere. – Dr. Suess

Un cactus pour votre anus ? (16 April 2021)

The title for this week’s feature pops into my head as I’m drawing it: Un cactus pour votre anus? It makes me laugh out loud. No one hears me, thankfully; I’m muted. No one even notices that I’ve moved, in fact. Least of all the woman running this Zoom meeting. She is peeling a scrubby child’s hands off her face and out of her hair and half-whispering something about plus tard chérie to it. Is this the sixth, the seventh or the eighth time in the past half hour that she has had to do this? I wouldn’t know. I haven’t been paying attention. I’ve been too busy sketching this magnificent bitch holding a pot of cacti.

The clean lines, the refined look, the fancy jewelry: everything about this woman screams of elegance and sophistication. She is stylish and graceful; poised and professional. Despite its crude undertones, even her question is polished and cultivated. There is the use of the formal vous, for example, as well as the Latin-based anatomical term anus. The question, much like her attire and her hair and her make up, is perfectly curated. Only the eyes betray what this woman truly wants to say. And it’s not a question at all, but a response. This: “How about I shove this cactus up your ass instead?”

Or one of these.

Un cactus pour votre anus ? II (23 April 2021)

Or these.

Un cactus pour votre anus ? III (23 April 2021)

Or even these.

Un cactus pour votre anus ? IV (23 April 2021)

It’s April 2021. The school year started in September. That’s eight months of weekly one-hour department meetings on Zoom like the one I am sitting in right now. Eight. The uselessness of these meetings and the equally useless activities I’m asked to engage in during them might not be so bad if it weren’t for the woman running them. She babbles. Incoherently. About nothing. In a nasally, whiny voice. You know that scene in Orwell’s 1984 where Winston is strapped to a chair and O’Brien puts the cage full of rats over his head? That.

It’s miserable. At best, I want to cry; at worst, stand in a bucket of water and stick my finger in a toaster. Instead, I’m laughing.

Nothing about these department meetings will change. Nothing about the woman running them, either. It will continue to be a cage full of rats over my head until the end of the school year. Art understands this and doesn’t deny it. It refuses, however, to be misery’s company. Instead, it’s the friend who sees the humor everywhere, in everything. The best kind of friend, the one you want by your side in dire situations. Department meetings on Zoom, for example. Even these can be comical if you imagine yourself as a magnificent bitch asking the chair if she would like a cactus shoved up her ass.

Woodgrain patterns for Un Cactus pour votre anus I – IV (Living room floor of my Adelphi Street apartment, Brooklyn.)

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