The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Three – The Butcher 18
The women. Was she fat? Yes, a very fat accountant with a long resume and fear in her eyes. Even without the later she was coming off the list. This could be the work of a woman but could not be the deed of a fat woman. Or a fat man for that matter. If she did not have the discipline to balance her basic body needs she could only reach moderate success. Leather couch and a television bigger than her friends’. Hence! He focused on the winner in his deduction. The new janitor with peacefully innocent eyes and politically correct cardigan. He came recommended by another janitor and had not worked for the union or any union. No checkable job history or references that couldn’t be faked.
He had encountered this janitor several times including when that safe cracker, Jackson, was in his office. He had succeeded on every occasion to stay unimpressive and dull. Never made the slightest joke or humorous remark. He was either a burned out manual worker or a masterful and clever character builder. His neatly trimmed hair, close shave and slightly loose dull-colored attire were either representative of his utter mediocrity or a camouflage. Was this man a representative of the bottom of the yellow teeth nation or had he successfully fooled the museum’s high academia.
He concluded, all that abstract thinking was worth further field exploration. He took the twenty-minute walk to the northeast corner of the second floor, where the secondary janitor closet was located. The cave like office of the only night janitor. Historically, there were secrets in caves.
The second floor was not his favorite strolling park. It was dominated by extremely modern, extremely contemporary pseudo artists. Mainly members of the wealthiest families in town. The families that sponsored half of the museum’s finances. None of those folks were fat. They were born with a nutritionist attached. They become artists to prove that they understood the pain of the world even though they had never felt it themselves. Grinding their teeth, behind a cloud of smoke and whiskey vapors, they were everything the Butcher hated in humanity.
Walk with him.
The first gallery on his way on the second was a square room with white walls and black floor and ceiling. In the center a bright red cylinder spanned from black to black. Nested next to it was a transparent giant glass cylindrical vessel half filled with bubbling thick gold colored liquid. A single bright yellow spot projector illuminated this pillar of modern art. Do pause before you come to conclusions.
He knew exactly what that piece meant. It meant that the people that shook his hand, thanked him and wished him a good weekend without smiling were the ones that were fucking him over. Why? Because he would take a smile before a handshake anytime. How did he know that, that black, white, red and gold monstrosity meant what he thought it meant. War, peace, blood and gold? He knew the secret of interpreting modern art. The secret was that great art meant whatever he wanted it to mean. It had more dimensions than life, hence more meanings, it was deeper than life. Everything was deeper than life even his shoes. If he could appreciate art he could appreciate life. Softy.
I, your humble narrator born as scotch, aged well and incarnated into men believe in art. I believe in the art of making scotch. I believe that art and scotch are equally useful to the world. I believe in the strive for softness. Softer pillows, softer grass, softer skin, softer scotch, anything soft to remind us that life is not that hard.
The next gallery had a lot to do with the color purple being in high fashion that year. Or may be the color purple was in high favor because of that installation. It did make the news. The Butcher did not wish to know which one was first.
Everything was purple. The walls, the floor, the ceiling. The room was crowded with stuffed purple antelopes, buffalos, donkeys, bears, foxes, hyenas, one rhinoceros, sheep, rabbits, a tiger, really a representative of every continent and at least one member of each link on the food chain. Thousands of stuffed purple rats were sourcing out of a burrow in one of the ceiling’s corners. From there they swarmed the place. The Butcher wondered where they got those from, probably the subway. A purple killer whale was in the middle of it all. His tail was mechanized to flap on the floor when someone walked near by. The floor itself was covered in short uneven grass and wild flowers made from purple plastic. Thousands of purple balloons covered the ceiling, some had a rat inside, some a rat hanging from them. They were maneuvered in circles by strategically located purple fans. The constant humming of balloons rubbing balloons filled the air. As an additional subtle metaphor, all of them were inscribed with the word ‘inevitable’.
Enough purple. He remembered a useful fact, there were no surveillance cameras in that area. They were considered an unnecessary expense. They would rather spend the money on more purple rats. Anyway who would want to steal those things. They stole the idea, because half the town was in purple. No, they stole the color because they liked to be told what to wear, eat, drink and what size women make you look most politically correct. The idea of this purple craze would be the meaning of this subtle metaphor of the future.
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more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Skitter Photo