UNITED STATES—Natalie Palmer aka The Tortured Artist had decided to test, to take the temperature of her surroundings and the people responding to her at any given moment. If she was a ‘nobody’ then why was she getting all this attention…behind her back? She grew a paunch, wore cheap clothes and didn’t apply makeup. Her hair had been vandalized and the Ford Taurus 2000 badly dented. None of this stopped young men cruising her from the sidewalks or the willowy blondes in black from wanting to hang out. This is LA, where is the sense?
Shipwrecked from the breakup with Benjamin she was having a hard time keeping it together. Her ‘Cash Only’ brand had been hijacked by 12 fellow streetwear labels and a couple of fancy designers. The 5K she put into Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz PC materialized another chain of negative links resulting in taking Wells Fargo to the small claims court to retrieve her original five grand finally, some comic relief: Watching the Beverly Hills Sheriff Tapping the Till of The Wells Fargo at the 7950 Sunset Blvd Branch. Justice served.
Her son, Oulevar had started texting a stream of jokes since his classmates back in New York had heard enough gossip from their parents. When he was last in town he had made friends with the San Vincente jogging twins in Brentwood’s Wholefoods. The three bonded over their love of sampling. Garry & Jason thought Oulevar was hilarious especially as Icy Barnacles.
Driving East along Sunset, looking forward to the Writer’s Title Fight, Natalie got a frantic call from Frankie: “Greggor’s gone missing.” “What do you mean?” “He’s disappeared.” After a long conversation with a train wreck Natalie told Frankie to give it another couple of days and get Oulevar to call her after school. Oulevar wasn’t at school that day he was uptown hanging around the Waldof. Apart from being a Wigger he loved to politic, it’s why he loved to rap. It’s why he was a Wigger. Frank Underwood and team were pulling into New York City this day. Frank specifically wanted to be closer to Donald when he first arrived in the Big Apple. Icy Barnacles had vital information for Frank, Icy was about to come up.
Boyd & Yves entered the NW corner meeting room of Sohohouse West Hollywood, Kellogg and Pine were listening to Natalie: “Painters? We’re manual workers like plumbers and electricians. We work rain or shine, day in, day out. Often, long hours whether we get paid or not: fixing and tweaking lights and pipes on behalf of all of us. We do what we do all our lives whether we live in style or poverty, in comfort or pain. Whether we like you or not, we still honor our spirit and purpose. A blessing and a curse, a continuum of blanks and reload.” Boyd responded: “Writing is a release, a release of the quantity of so many thoughts shouting, swirling, piling in on themselves. Like taking a big s***.”
“Ahem…Let me introduce Natalie to Yves Anchorage” moderated Kellogg: “His recent essay ‘The Fluffers’, talks about the last 25-30 yrs of The Armchair Experience: Art fakes made by phonies, mediocre infantile art coddled by tenured tutors in art schools. Their art stars rise quickly like a triumphant soufflé only to sink midcareer traceless. Yves also wrote ‘When the Art Hits the Fan’ based on a true story of how a degree show adjudicator along with some studio heads stole the ideas of an undergrad’s body of work and taught them to another set of students at a different art school, taking the credit and pocketing the money.” “Well, that happens all the time in many fields of industry, including ours.” Responded Boyd, the writers paused, looked at each other and boomed with laughter. “You have to stay one step ahead of the game.”
“I’ve an irrational fear of burning to death.” Natalie blurted, transfixed in a sudden confessional, “I realize that’s what I have to face. I’m 55 years old, this is 2015, I’ve been letting go, minding my own business, trying to get along with myself and others yet like some weird past-life hocus I’ve felt stabbed in the back many times, the truth is, that’s exactly what’s been happening I’ve literally felt a malicious psychic energy stab me in the back time and time again. Sometimes it would feel so powerful I’d turn around. A few months ago I started to piece the puzzle, it just gets more bizarre. For example at The Frieze Art Fair in London 2009, I came across two figurative oil paintings called ‘Cash Only,’ of men dancing wearing ‘Cash Only’ logo tank tops, probably the tees I was selling in a few stores on Christopher St, New York in 05, painted by an American. What are the odds of that? I know the difference between someone taking a bite and a flip, fair game but on and on, a catalogue of ‘ripped-off’ experiences since the beginning of my professional life, which I guess began at Art School, as a young adult. Deepak would say ‘the Universe is telling me something’. This is a Law of patterns doomed to repeat it’s self until dismantled. Its like I’ve been sent to Coventry.” “What the hell is Coventry?” “Yes, Pine, that about it. Does Efimov ever get his happy ending?”
Yves spoke an aside to Kellogg: “I hear her oil paintings appear distinctly 3D, no glasses needed pushing Brigit Riley straight into the doldrums.”
As the writers disbanded Boyd, under the fragrance of the herb wall garden turned towards Natalie lent in and stroked her collar: “I’m not only very angry I am also the 6th man, not many people left know that.
Its dark outside, Henry Plattsbottem of the NTS Dept was with his mistress at his pied a terre in Pont St, SW1 fretting whether to call Arnold Schwarzenegger before or after dinner: “This is absurd, I’m like a schoolboy in pre-haze. How many times have I been in the company of British Royalty and here I am weak at the knees over Arnie. I was what, 24/25 when that movie came out? Terminator and also Rambo, very impressionable for some of us chaps after St Andrews & Cambridge.” As she disappears into the dressing room Vanessa, mockingly intones: “He was also the Governor of California keep that in mind. Just don‘t mention the Phrase.”
Nearby in Edgerton Gdns SW3 Nigel, Kitty’s little brother is also anxious. Anxiety and envy are his popular choice of emotions. He owns and runs a luxury ‘travel+’ business. As the first in his social group back in 1980 to organize an impromptu bachelor party for a friend at a European getaway it became his business to sell exotic exploits. Behind the adverts his main income and clients are those out for hunting Big Game, particularly the endangered kind including Resident Aliens. His envy eats into him daily, as he remains a glorified travel agent. None of his clients look at him as an equal and now most hands that shake his are 20 yrs his junior with ninety times the liquidity, he’s crumbling in on him self: His one pleasure, to take it out on others. He’s about to get a leg up.
That same day, in New York City its 2 a.m. EST and V&A have arranged a meeting with Ricardo and Big J at Tina’s Fish Market, W 207th St. after a long day. This is where they go to stay out of sight. Frank Underwood is seated at the far table.
“What’s he doing here?” Ricardo says as they sit down. “In town campaigning.” “I know that, what’s he doing here at the fish spot?” “Dunno…looking for a spot while in New York, I guess?” “Who the f*** told him about this place, that’s what I wanna know. Don’t he know he has to go though the Dominicans first, then maybe he gets to come to us. Does he even have Gallo de Pelea working for him?” “Big J. Chill, he’s neon, we’ll find out… So, after New York?” Ricardo looks to his friends: “Florida.” Vard is first to answer. “Oh that’s good. Lets give Carlos a call, get in on some action down there.”
Frankie has been calling Natalie’s phone non-stop for 6 hours. It reminds her of how Benjamin would do the same it was part of their games. Breaking the bittersweet memory she answered: “Natalie, I can’t wait another day I’m a mess, you might have to take care of Oulevar for a while. I’m on meltdown.” “Ok, listen, I’m going on line right now to book rooms at Soho Beach House. I’ll meet you and Oulevar in Miami, lets splurge. We’ll figure out what to do then, ok? I promise. I need a break myself it’s all getting too weird. I’ll tell you about it when I see you.”
The following evening in Soho Beach House, Bob Adelman is sitting with one of his expensive hookers having an early dinner. Natalie watches carefully, intrigued as Mother & Son LLC exchange a few words with this influential photographer of great times, Samuel Beckett’s and Malcolm X’s old buddy, Bob. After Mother & Son LLC glide down the stairs towards the pool Natalie turns to Frankie and Oulevar: “Miami, how could anyone feel sad or rotten for more than 30 minutes with such a sky and always the possibility of being on a boat.” The Rumba band plays on. Time passes Natalie goes over to say hi to her friend, Bob. She wanted to tell him that Benjamin had pointed out his uncle’s house photographed in ‘Mine Eyes Have Seen.’ Although, really she wants to know how well he knows Mother & Son LLC.
There’s a sudden clash of musical tones exactly where Bob is seated, Frankie comes over and leads Natalie down the stairs, passing Frank Underwood by the Tiki hut, there’s a 2016 Presidential fundraiser soiree in full swing. As they head towards the beach Frankie says “He’s surely isn’t staying here too?” “No, he’s at the St Regis. Where’s Oulevar?” “Over there, talking to Doug Stamper and Rod Steward.” “Can you go get him before he breaks into Icy Barnacles.”
The three go down and sit under the awnings on the beach, Natalie orders drinks: “The compass points back to the UK for now, it’s the sensible thing, I’ll take Oulevar. I better call my mother although she’s got Dementia so that’s unreliable. S***! O sorry Oulever I better call Ivy. The least awful of my nemesis siblings.”
Mother & Son LLC have their usual suite with a full ocean view, they are here to Sign. A synchronized positioning for both sides of the Atlantic; the deep, torrid darkness in the East that is full of Loch Ness monsters and the delightful, rainbowland that lies beneath their feet, right here in Bal Harbour. The St Regis Group built this hotel especially for them. Not many people know that.
The more the British government try to break Mother down using Macromineral Deficiencies (‘A silent killer: Tactics used to break a person down psychologically and physically, inducing as much stress as possible over a long period of time’) The more she burns brighter light efficiently. In short, their negative perseverance reflects more immediately back onto them. The ability to harness Qi, the CU & NTS had begun to understand. There was, however another elemental agent that they were unable to detect, let alone fathom how to break its code.
On another floor, also with a full ocean view Frank and Claire Underwood return to their suite a little after midnight. Underwood gets a call: “Frank, Joel Bannerstein, are you alone?” He signals to his wife and moves onto the balcony overlooking the sparkling stretch of shallow, west coast Atlantic, and takes the call.
Written By Jane Gang