Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Addictive Allure of Artist Men

This is a long post-I apologize in advance. But, if you make it through, it will be worth the read, I promise :)

When I left for college, at age 18, I was very hungry for artistic companionship. Enter a man named Rick. He was a art major and five years older than me. We lived in a co-ed dorm, his room was next to mine. I followed him around like a kitty in heat, going to galleries, coffee shops and smoking camels. He made me dizzy. We would go the art building where he would paint while I wrote poetry. He taught me how to forge.

While we never actually dated, he became the model for a series of boyfriends. All artists, all odd, all older. Above all, all of these men were addicting.

I didn't realize it then, but the pairing of me and the older artist is a cliche. I was in the role of young, lovely ingenue. They played the sullen, worldly wise mentor. These men were often on the fringe and I would be their muse. This is the most addicting part of all.

All of the sudden, everything about me was important. Simple things like the words I used, what I thought, what I wore, all of it became grist for their art. I've had boyfriends name guitars after me, write songs with my name, paint and draw my naked form. All because I had a spark that spurred them.

The drawback to all this, is that my importance was only a reflection of their ego. I would often have to defend my choice of words, thoughts and clothes because it didn't match up with their view of the world. Not surprisingly, these artists were largely self-absorbed. Shocking, I know.

They often held a pressing idealism that art is paramount, beyond important. It is a measure of evolutionary superiority. The muse is a vital part of this attitude and I needed to act accordingly. So who was I to take joy in watching 90210? How dare I begin to enjoy my girly side, wearing high heels and pretty dresses? It was beneath me, their muse.

Eventually I had had enough. Somewhere around the seventh boyfriend such as this, I realized I was going nowhere with this fake adoration. And I was going somewhere. I also realized that they weren't socially isolated because of their artistic temperament, there were alone because no one likes an asshole. So I left that kind of life. And vowed never to NEVER.AGAIN. I made a promise to only reward the kindest of company that loved me for all of me. That's when I found Mr. Hall.

Why am I telling you all this?

Lately I've been reaching out and making friends. I make friends easily- I'm pretty, thoughtful and smile a lot. I ask questions about who they are and what they like. I can speak to any number of topics and laugh easily. Plus, with Mommy friends, 3/4 of the work is already done.

I wasn't always like this. Most writers tend to be shy and introspective. I've worked very hard to become outgoing and fabulous.

So at this point, I have made two or three friends who are steadfast, Mommy friends. They are nice and I am so thankful they are here.

I have a wild artistic side that still throbs inside me. I realized this last night, at dinner. I was explaining the appeal of foreign films to a new set of couple friends. I was wearing a small cardigan to cover up my tattoo. Because tattoos are shocking to some in this small town. Sigh.

So I ask myself, why isn't art more of my life, like when I make friends? I think what has happened, is that when I left the role of muse, I left art out of my life expect within the tight, inner circle of my tribe. So, why don't I let it out more?

So let me do this. In the next few months let me emanate energy. Energy in yoga class, energy at gatherings, energy walking 'round town. Energy that says, I am one of the artsy ones, come find me. Maybe I'll take a pottery or painting class and put myself out there for real.

Because life is too short to have to explain the appeal of foreign films and who Picasso is. I need people in life who already know. ;)

1 Left a message at the beep:

Mrs. Hall said...

don't everybody speak up at once here. i mean. i put effort into this one.


let's just move on then.


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