Archive for March, 2007

Exhibiting Duchampian Wit

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

by Erik Palmer

They fall in love on Thursday, after the third day they’ve known each other and the eighth time they’ve had sex.

Okay, Weston falls in love after the seventh time (also that Thursday, in the morning), but Angela Sara says it first. And Weston isn’t sure if it’s love, or just great sex twice a day (sometimes thrice), but then she says it and he feels it and that makes love.

Marcel Duchamp comes by on a twilit Monday, after the lovers’ fourteenth coupling. His recyclable plastic grocery bag says Fred Meyers on the side and holds a six-pack of icy cold Busch Light Tallboys, a two-pound bag of tortilla chips, four redfish fillets and a pint of Vermont-made ice cream.

“Weston!” Angela Sara says. He raises his head from a nap-like meditation. “Weston, someone’s out there!”

“Huh?” He squints at his watch and tries to figure out why he can never get all the way through a nap-like meditation without interruption. He tries to form sentences, but fragments come out.

“Oh. Monday. Just Marcel.”


“Marcel. Duchamp. Monday. Blackened redfish.”

“Marcel Duchamp?” Angela Sara says. “Like the artist-guy?”

“Yeah, him. Cooks dinner. House ritual.”

“The real Marcel Duchamp? The real, live Marcel Nude Descending a Staircase—The Bride Surrounded by Her Bachelors, Even—Three Standard Stoppages Duchamp? Not somebody named Marcel Duchamp?”

“Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard of him.” Weston digs his boxer shorts out from the foot of the bed. “Plays chess.”

“Get out. You mean ‘the most destructive artist of the 20th century’ has come back from the dead to grill pseudo-cajun culinary specialties for a semi-articulate MySpace junkie like you?”

“Uh. Yeah. Then we watch Aqua Teen Hunger Force. What’s your point?”

Weston peaks out the window into stripes of fading sunlight and Angela Sara scoots up close for her first look at the grandmaster.

“He seems tall for a postmodernist,” she says.

“His brothers are short. Sometimes he brings them. They’re all, like, French or something, so they don’t talk much and Marcel’s, like, Hi, I’m Duchamp and this is my brother Villon and this is my other brother Villon.”

“So you’re telling me that Marcel Duchamp watches Adult Swim?”

“Of course he does. One time I went out back to grill, my old Weber was gone, I was pissed ‘cause I really don’t need stuff disappearing out of the garage. But then Marcel shows up with it the next Monday. He painted by Bart S on the side and took it to some exhibition thing.”

“So where would one meet a Marcel Duchamp?”

“Oh, I don’t know, around. I was drinking a lot and he was hanging with these swinging postmodern art chicks, we double-dated a couple of times. And then he brought the postmodern art chicks over for some readymaking, he likes the light in the living room. But nothing he made ever looked like them. Then they dumped us for some tortured poet guys they met at a bingo parlor. So me and Marcel started blackening redfish and pretending to hate women. Every Monday.” Angela Sara ponders the women who preceded her in Weston’s life. Weston pulls on a t-shirt as he steps to the door of the bedroom. “You ready to meet him?”

After a few weeks, Marcel stops coming by Weston’s house every Monday. Sometimes he still does, but sometimes he doesn’t and, after a few months, he stops coming by at all.

Weston and Angela Sara don’t miss him; now they have more time for sex.

They see Marcel at the wedding, two days after the 612th time they’ve made love. He’s with a couple of fresh swinging postmodern art chicks and he brings coffee hardware and a pound of beans for the newlyweds.

But Weston and Angela Sara don’t have the patience for French Press and they already have a coffee grinder, so they sell Marcel’s paraphernalia at auction for $560,000 and $804,000, respectively.

Then they drink the coffee.