Monday, April 29, 2013



  I'm feeling better. Milawyer has been checking in on me with bourbon cough medicine and Mystery Girl and Horst were here for a little weekend visit, giving me some human contact. So this morning I'm just taking it easy, in preparation for opening day. It's a nasty cool rainy morning and I haven't even got my shoes on, when I look out the window and see this big Town of Fallsburg trench excavator tearing up my  nice grassy road edge. I can't find my boots. What the hell are these idiots doing? I run across the wet lawn in my stocking feet, trying to get the operator's attention. The giant gouging bucket tears up another six foot swath of my nice edge, as I appear in front of this guy, yelling and waving my arms. He turns his head nonchalantly and just keeps going. I then step in front of the cab and as he steps back on the throttle, I'm still at maximum volume. "What the fuck are you doing? This drains perfectly." The guy looks sternly at me. "Sir, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't swear at me." I take a breath and come down a notch. "OK....sorry..." I'm catching my breath. "....but....Christ...." He cuts me off. "Hey. I said don't fucking swear at me..." It's on motherfucker.

    I've barely left the house the past couple of weeks and I seem to screaming at the world. This operator and I go at it verbally, until he steps from his glass box and puffs up to the degree I think he's about to leap. The kid, who now steps from the dump truck, comes around to join us and I don't know if he's here to help calm things down, or kick my ass. I quickly size up both of them, who are each twice my size, and stand my ground (in my little wet white socks). "Bring it on asshole." I inform the guy. I'm blinded by rage at them tearing up the church lawn, and incredibly stupid to think that I would survive a fight with either, let alone both. Nonetheless the words and gestures escalate. I call him a "douchebag", and that seems to really strike a cord. This guy's  gonna jump off his big yellow machine and kill me. Somehow I don't care.
    In the heat of the moment he tells me to call the town. I tell him I'm calling the cops. "I'm calling 411!" I scream. I meant to say 911. It's at this point he calls me" a long haired fag." and to"...... go back to Woodstock."  I get called a fag from time to time, but it's probably been 40 years since I've been called a long hair. I've never been told to go back to Woodstock.

So I call the cops and a townie cop comes over, along with whole bunch of red Fallsburg trucks with with various "supervisors". I tell one supervisor how unprofessional it is of his employees (whose salaries I pay with my taxes). "The fuckin' guy came out of his box at me...." I try to explain, when the supervisor asks me not to cuss. What the fuck is it with these guys and cussing? Anyways, long story short, things calmed down, the FUCKING town tore up my lawn and here I sit, a long haired fag, on his way back to Woodstock. I wonder what's going on in Rock Hill?

Saturday, April 27, 2013




  The phone rang around noon yesterday. I was still lying on the couch, swaddled in a blanket, periodically hacking up oyster sized lungers, half delirious from swigging on the bottle of Nyquill. It was little brother Smokey. "Hey, what are you doing?" he asked. I explained my regime of cough syrup and sweating that kept me put. "Stay where you are." he said "I'm driving "Jake" over on the bike." I wasn't going anywhere.
    A few months back, anticipating Spring turkey season, I had asked Smokey if I could borrow the Old Man's 12 ga. double barrel Parker shotgun? In those good old days of the 1980's, when I was still living on the Lower East Side (not hunting), the old man decided to give away his guns. At the time he and Smokey were decimating the Ct. goose population and he had bequeathed that beautiful gun to my little brother. When I started hunting again in the 90's "Jake" accompanied the Old Man and I on countless turkey hunting trips. A few years back, in such pain he couldn't stand it, laying on his death bed in late April, my father closed his eyes and moaned "Wake me up opening day." He never saw another season.

A little background: There's small silver plaque attached to the breech of that gun. It states- "Jake" Jacob McKinstry, William McKinstry, Edmund Ayres, Richard A. Osterhout, Ross J. Osterhout. We grew up in the small upstate NY town of Montgomery. Those names are a piece of history. In the midst of the gun control debate it is never mentioned how a gun can be a family heirloom. I don't know the full story of how the Old Man came to own "Jake". I remember him telling me how he had admired the gun and how one day E. Ayres handed him a couple of pieces of long pipe, wrapped in oily rags. It was that beautiful Parker. He was incredibly honored.
    We all grew up admiring the sweet lines and smooth opening "click" of that finely crafted instrument. Ray Key (my turkey hunting guru) and I would always bust my Old Man's balls for "dragging around 20 feet of antique pipe" while we carried extra full choke, modern killing machines. The Old Man would just smile and pet "Jake". Truth be told, he rarely missed a strutting gobbler.
   So now "Jake" lays on the couch next to me waiting for opening day. It's Smokey's gun. I'm just borrowing it. I love it as much as anyone can love an inanimate object. It reminds me of all the good times I had hunting with my father. I'm honored to know that Smokey trusts me enough to lend it out. It's a talisman, an heirloom that will never be registered with the government (no matter how the laws change). It's the kind of gun that is indicative of how deeply people can feel about their rights to bear arms. I'm not a member, nor a big fan of the NRA and all it's hysteria in the gun debate. But when it comes to "Jake" cold dead hands.

Friday, April 26, 2013


As the sky turns blue, the weather warms, and little twittering birds circle my head, thoughts turn to warm soapy water and long pulsing hoses, spurting to the the throbbing disco beat of my old boom box- OOMP-chicka- chicka- chicka- OOMP-chicka- chick.....It's time for a church car wash. My runny nose and persistent cough is testament to the fact that the Catskill "Social Season" is upon. The past week I've shaken more hands, passed more joints, and nuzzled more germ infested babies than I had the entire winter. No wonder I'm dying.
   Of course the first question on the congregations' fever blistered lips is "When's the next church?" My answer "Halloween." is met with icy stares. WTF? I explain that I am in the midst of a hot artfag streak, filling the church with objects, paintings and drawings and have no time, nor room, to deal with such foolishness. As a consolation prize I've proposed a BIKINI CAR WASH. The last time we had such an event was on the occasion of the first Spring Baptism Church back in 2010. It was a great success. But, as always, my use of the word "bikini" draws disapproving frowns from the females of the congregation. I can read their minds- "again with the objectification."

   I love language. I couldn't compulsively write for year after year for no money if I didn't. Language and writing is just like the art, or the music making process. Every day, there it is, laid wide open for you to fuck with. All you have to do is grab it by the vagina. When most people hear the term "Bikini Car Wash" they think of those cheezy, cologen lipped events, usually held in Florida, that squirt sex at you like a bad  8mm "stroke film". Even after all these years, I'm sorry to say, the church ladies still don't get it.  "Bikini" is a generic term- like "supermodel" or "fag" or "gay" or "jew". All body types and garments are appropriate. Does anybody remember how KU KLUX KLOWN got his ass whooped by those "foxy boxers"? Was THAT objectification?  Was THAT racist? I don't think so.
   No one knows better than I that you can't please everybody. As a spiritual leader I'm always open to the wishes of the congregation. I'm reaching out to all the local Ashrams (it means community) and the entire Hassidic population of the county. Bring those dirty mini-vans and SUVs to 143 Old Glen Wild rd. Sat. May 25, 2013 from 2-6pm for a car wash and sunset BBQ. It's good clean family fun. As for the next church service, I have three words for you- wait for it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013




    For some reason I never got my annual post deer season cold this year. I shivered through the winter, reading Dr. Frederick Cook's frigid accounts of searching for the North and South Poles and climbing Denali, all without a sniffle. And now, a week before turkey season, as the weather warms, I'm sick as a dog. My throat is raw, and snot is flowing into my mustache. Shewho is busy in the city trying to get Teehoo to decide on a college (without much luck), so I'm on my own. Not to worry. I'm used to it.
   Last night Diamond Dave dropped by with some eye medicine, and as we sat out on the deck a fancy Cadillac SUV pulled up. It was RNButch's dad- Bronco Billy. BB's an old timer in this neck of the woods. As I sat there, drooling snot, talk turned to DD's new scorched earth policy down on the farm. For some reason these guys love to dig ponds, knock down trees and try to "control" MOTHER NATURE. In the words of RNButch "I like my fields and my ________ closely trimmed." Look out MN they're coming in for the close shave. Don't get me wrong. I love these guys. I just like a few more branches in my view. Besides, what choice do I have. I'm surrounded by rich city park planners.
   The conversation moved on to what the NYS DEC thinks of all this. DD said he had called them and Bronco Billy frowned. "Never call the DEC." he suggested. I agree. And this got me to daydreaming about opening day of turkey season. My newest tool in my turkey hunting arsenal is a beautiful little remote controlled flying device, otherwise known as a "drone". Before the DEC outlaws hunting with such high tech instruments, I figured I'd give it a try. For the cost of a moderately priced shotgun you can purchase a sweet little helicopter complete with video camera. I don't have a cell phone, but DD had given me a little ipod that serves as the control panel. Download some soft wear and before you know it you are airborne.
   Forget what you've ever heard about turkeys being dumb. They are smart mother fuckers. And one of the hardest things to do in the hunting process is locate them. The traditional way is to trudge through the woods, or peek in open fields, wearing off your boot rubber, calling like a crow until you hear a gobble. Although I've yet to figure out how to drop ordinance from my drone, as a scouting tool it should be invaluable. Do I hunt RNB's fields or head over to DD's? Well, in this brave new world I can sit here on the deck, power up my drone and send it soaring  across the road, over the camels, hugging the terrain, gaining altitude, climbing in front of RNButch's house....first floor......second floor.....Oh SHIT! I check the camera. Sorry Mrs. Butch. I had no idea that was your bedroom. Still got a few kinks to work out.

Sunday, April 21, 2013




Cars are whizzing by my house, lights flashing. Tires screech as one after another head down the hill. We've been warned by various "officials" not to leave our residences. Police tape is stretched across every residence driveway leading to an overall atmosphere of fear and foreboding. What will happen next? Boston in the grips of a police manhunt for a mad bomber? NO. Glen Wild on a chilly Spring Saturday afternoon. Let me back up a bit.

   I'm watching TV Friday night glued to a BING image of some poor guy's boat in his driveway swathed in white shrink wrap. The police have just riddled it with automatic gun fire, as a helicopter with thermal imaging equipment confirms there is a "body in the boat". The illusive little man in the boat has finally been located. And like my first girl friend, years ago, the entire country breaths a sigh of relief. Damn. I'm glad that's over. Now i can go to town and get a bite to eat.
   As I wait for my fish and chips in the busy bar, a friend slides up and says hello. It's Trainwreck. I wonder why the bar is so busy when Trainwreck reminds me that it's Road Rally weekend. This is a group of rich white guys with souped up "rice burners" who take over the back roads of our little burg in order to race, open throttle, against the clock, for two days. They did it last year. It's about like watching paint dry. But according to Trainwreck, who happens to be one of the 20 or so people on the Rock Hill business association, who rams this "event" down our throats every year, "It's great for business. Dutch's is packed. Butch's motel is full." As I wait for my dried up, cold fish and chips, I must admit he's right. Business is so good they could care less if a local gets a decent meal. Ra- ra- road rally.
   The next day, Saturday, I dig out a piece of paper some kid had dropped off earlier in the week to check the road closings in order to get to the bus station to pick up an old friend from California- Danny Boy Ake. It takes some doing, but i safely get to Monticello and back without too much trouble.  Welcoming me home is 20 feet of police tape stretched across my driveway. I drive under it and rip it down. No sooner is the tape in my garbage than there's a guy in a motorcycle helmet knocking at my door. "I see you took our tape down." he says with a frown. "Yeah, so what?" I answer. "Well..." he continues officiously "I hope you aren't planning on going anywhere. The rally is coming by here." This is the first I've heard of these idiots blasting by my house. "No one told me that." IFF! I wasn't planning on going anywhere until this douche told me I couldn't. Now I'm pissed AND want to go somewhere...anywhere.
   About a half hour goes by and there's another knock on the door. this time it's a bent over old duffer with a fireman's badge. He asks if I've gotten the paper with the road closing? I'm still wound up from reaming out helmet man. So I give this old fart a piece of my mind also. "Is this race coming by my house or not?" He looks at me blankly and shrugs. "I don't know. I'm from Monticello." That explains a lot. This group is not only inept, they are bone-headed stupid. "How about a big sign, in red letters, that screams DANGER! YOU WILL BE KILLED IF YOU PULL OUT YOUR DRIVEWAY  between such and such a time?" I suggest and the doofus hobbles back to the fire truck with a backwards wave. "Have a nice day sir." he snarls. By now word should be getting out concerning the crazy guy in the church.
    DBA and i spend the afternoon catching up, drinking beer, celebrating 4/20 and watching these assholes in their fancy cars scream by. Around 4:21 a truck drives by and beeps the horn. I'm assuming this is the all clear. So Danny and I climb in Shirley and back out onto Old Glen Wild Rd. Immediately I hear an air horn and see a man waving frantically in my rear view mirror. Whatthefuck? Turns out this thing is far from over and now we are sitting right in the middle of the race track. Helmet man is in a tizzy. "YOU ARE GOING TO KILL SOMEBODY!" he screeches like a little girl. I screech back and let him know just what I think of this fucking event. As I write this, dawn is just breaking. Today's a new day. I have to get DBA back to the bus, running the gauntlet of slack jawed, needle dick, shoe shufflers with "Road Rally" laminates. Maybe I'll pull the old Neon across the road and start changing tires. Maybe I sit in a folding chair with a 12 ga. across my knee. In the words of a great patriot "W" Bush- "If you give in, they've already won. Go shopping!" If I could only get past the police tape across my drive. Hey. It's good for business.    

Thursday, April 18, 2013




We're hanging out on the edge of GNJohn's "Infinity Lawn". There's Diamond Dave, Pigpen Rothman and of course GNJ. The flies have eased off, thank God and talk turns to the beaver infestation down in the swamp. My solution would be to trap the fuckers, but in this "sistainable" group that's just too brutal. The solution is to install a long piece of culvert pipe and a cage in the pond. The BEAVER DECEIVER fools the beavers into thinking that the damn dam is holding. As everyone knows it's the sound of trickling water that keeps Bucky awake all night, dragging sticks to plug the offending hole. GNJohn pulls out his device and slows me his pipe. "Good luck with that thing." I say, knowing full well those critters won't be fooled. They're just too smart. The trapper will be called.
   The conversation turns to the subject of ass-shaving. I had recently written in HWS on the subject. Jumping the gun in preparation for an upcoming model shoot, I'd gone a little over board in my personal grooming.  DD was curious just how far I'd taken my commitment. Honestly I don't have much foliage back there. In fact there's just a little peach fuzz and a few grey stragglers. It didn't take long. This brought up the subject of how eventually it all just rubs off. My old man had just shiny white  calfs below his knees. Years of tight knee high socks, while working on Wall Street, had worn everything away. "I remember complaining to my Grandma about my pubes turning grey." GNJ offered "She said "Wait until it all falls out."" Then he grabbed his device again and said "I got more pictures."
   We were all stunned into silence. To our extreme relief, GNJ's brain had somehow fizzled to the degree that he was still on the BEAVER DECEIVER conversation (could've been DD's eye medicine), and was not referring to having photo documentation of his grandmother's bald vagina. PHEW!

   Otherwise, we are less than two weeks until opening day of turkey season. My photo shoot is next weekend. All's quiet on the HWSTV front. As they say in the biz- it's on (until it's not).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013



  The hose has finally thawed and it's been two days since I've had a fire in the stove. The ice is out and even though there's still snow in the shadows, it looks like Spring is here. My place has a tendency to collect the detritus of the long winter. When the snow no longer hides it, I'm forced to clean up the mud covered garbage. In between runs to the dump I think about where to go next with the studio work. My initial worry over not having a "signature" style or vocabulary of imagery was all for naught. The work spewed out- the inner animal seemingly the theme. Although I never know what the next drawing or object will look like. It's all about trying to get in the zone and recognizing the work as it's formed.

For example: Yesterday I drove out to my taxidermist to feel him out concerning a video shoot at his place. He also raises turkeys and deer. An episode of supermodels cavorting with his cute little bambis, before going out and trying to kill one could be just the ticket. But when I got there, his cat Chi-Chi was 60 feet up in a tree and wouldn't come down. She'd been there for three days and everyone (Chi-Chi included) was freaking out. My cat-pimp hand is usually pretty good, but all my kissy noises and sweet talk did no good. A tree surgeon was coming, so I turned the truck around and headed for home. Good luck Chi-Chi.
   On my way back I spotted some bulldozers working a site that I'd had my eye on for years. It was the burial ground for these big carved figures in Vietcong Cages. The artist had long ago abandoned the figures to the elements. They'd been splintered apart, wrapped in barbed wire and burned. With the help of bolt cutters and a pry bar I was able to salvage a full arm and a burnt forearm, which I tossed in the truck. Before the day was out, with the use of an undertaker's cart and some fake snow I'd completed two new pieces- both dealing with death.

Checking my email I opened one from old friend Marta. She informed me that her friend Hungarian fashion designer Tamas Kiraly had been murdered. We had once collaborated on a fashion show to "celebrate" the death of MO David Gallery in the EV. He created a runway completely from garbage and street debris in an old firehouse owned by another friend Rick Temarian. Watching those girls in Tamas' designs try to look sexy and navigate that catwalk still sticks with me. It was brilliant.
  After Marta informed me of Tamas' death I googled him. I had no idea how famous he had become over the years. He was known as "The Pope of Fashion". Turns out he may not have been murdered, but was doing the sex thing with a scarf and it went bad. In either case, the poor guy's dead. All this death stuff came out of somewhere. With the warm weather, things should brighten up. Let's hope Chi-Chi made it out of that tree.        

Sunday, April 7, 2013




  The first time I fell through the cracks was sometime in 1987. I was subletting an apt. on E6th and Ave. A from a brother of a friend who had gone to LA to go to law school. Each month I paid the rent with a money order signed with the original lease holder's name. Even with this precaution in the sublet game, the landlord somehow got wind that something was amiss in his slumlord universe. One night I came home to an envelope slipped under my door. It informed me that I was in illegal possession of said property and should evacuate within 24 hours. I was already having a bad day. This put a nail in it.
   So I loaded up my pick up truck with some bare essentials and headed for the hills. My buddy, artist Dave West, took over the pad as he was in need of a squat. I holed up for a couple of weeks at Wolf Lake, periodically checking in with DW to see if the other shoe had dropped. It hadn't. There was no word from the landlord. After a few more days i decided to return. I got in town about 10 AM. The shades were drawn and there was a party in full swing. A cloud of cigarette smoke, a room full of strangers and piles of empties greeted me. Those were the days you just took this kinda shit in stride. I tossed somebody's works in the bathroom garbage and settled back into my pad. Party's over.
   Four years went by (without me paying rent) before another envelope was slipped under the door. It informed me I owed $29,000 in back rent and once again had 24 hours to vacate. I knew I could've stretched it out, but decided to take my four years of free rent and split. Let's not be greedy. Slipping though the cracks wasn't too bad.
   Then there was the time my mother ordered cable TV for the family cabin. I'd finally gotten a phone installed during my exile from 6&A in 1987. But we still had an antenna with horrible reception well into the 90's. Cable was a giant leap into the 20th Century, when the old man finally placed the call. Mom was a stickler for paying the bills. She knew right away that it had been a couple of months since she'd received a cable bill. Then a couple of more months went by. And, God bless her, she had enough outlaw in her to stay quiet. It's been 20 years.....and counting. Free  cable. Keep your mouth shut if you ever want to get invited back.
    These days I have satellite TV at the shack. Unlike my mother, I'm horrible at paying bills. NYSEG is constantly threatening to cut off my juice and the phone and TV robot calls informing me of my delinquency are constant. I'm just lazy. It's a pathology I can't seem to shake. I have my routine. When they eventually cut the TV off (which they always do) I pay up. Funny thing though. The calls have stopped and the TV is still on. Still got my Showtime. Still got my TCM.  Could it be that the chasm is opening again? Most people don't let it go this far. You have to be able to recognize the signs. I don't want to jinx it. I think I see another tumble into the abyss.  

Friday, April 5, 2013



  I've had one real modeling gig in my life. In the early 90's  photog friend Jeff Vaughn had gotten a gig shooting a new ad campaign for SPORTS AFIELD magazine and was having a hard time finding a NYC pretty boy who knew how to hold a gun. Handsomeishness was put aside in favor of pragmatism. As a retired cop "gun wrangler" handed me a Remington Model 700 and a stylist clipped clothes pins to the back of my baggy pants, Jeff clicked away. "Visualize that deer." Click. "He's a big one. Chin up." Click. "Beautiful." Within a month my mug was gracing the sides of buses and those lit up shelters. Then my modeling career stagnated. The phone stopped ringing. Seems gun toting mannikins were not in great demand. Oh well, back to sheetrocking.
    About the same time my modeling career was on the rocks, I stopped shaving and cutting my hair. At a loss to figure out just where 90's grooming was going, I opted for not giving a shit. I still had brown hair and my beard, although quite grey, had yet to turn white. By the time I moved from the LES to the sticks I looked more hillbilly than the hillbillies. Over the years the beard has bleached out, the hair has thinned and turned grey- a perfect specimen of the "Countrosexual". And guess what? I'm once more in demand.
   A couple of days ago I got an email from a this guy Bill asking if I'd be interested in being part of an ad campaign he was shooting for a brand new company? I skimmed the long email and wrote "Sure." These days I'm wide open to offers of any kind that don't involve manual labor. He asked if he could grab pics from fb and that was that. Yesterday i got the word. They loooooved me. I hadn't closely read his email but remembered it involved "asses". So I got in the shower , lathered up and shaved down my junk. After so many years out of the game, I still had it. Aside from a few minor cuts (that I daubed with toilet paper) and some bruises from moving wood all winter, my ass looked pretty good. I emailed Bill back. "Ready when you are."
   It was then i re-read his original email and realized the word was GL-asses. He wanted me to model eye glasses. What we models go through to look pretty. Those little cuts stung like hell when i sat down and I was a bit disappointed that my scorched earth policy had been in vain. Oh well, as any supermodel worth her salt will tell you, it's all in your head. Even though the camera will never see it, my shiny ass makes me feel sexy. I'm sure you'll be able to see it in my eyes.      

Tuesday, April 2, 2013




  I don't know who said this, but it rings true. From very early in my career I've used relationship in my work. A piece I did in 1978- MISSIONARY (the extended family as sculpture) set the tone. I tried to simultaneously establish a relationship with a 12 year old boy and keep said relationship at bay, contextualizing it as art. It worked to a degree, leading to a short showing of the relics at SFMOMA. (One of my two museum shows). When the boy, one Darrell Monroe, unexpectedly disappeared with his family, the piece ended. Aside from the obvious pitfalls of taking a young boy (heretofore a stranger to me) fishing and horseback riding, as a 25 year old single young man living in SF, the piece went well. I kept my distance enough to not feel too bad when he vanished. On the contrary I felt relief. The real bond was never established.  
  As time went on I forged relationships with many people- artists, non-artists, and many others involved in the various professions associated with being an artist. If I had it to do over again, I'd have kept a little distance. Case in point is critic and all around expert on everything Chuck McC. I met Chuckles the first day I came to NYC in 1983. I had gone across East Ninth St., where my soon to open gallery was located, to borrow something from the guy who ran the gallery ART CITY. Sitting in a chair in the tiny space was this red haired kid with a Flock of Seagulls haircut, smiling and smoking a cigarette. We were introduced and I liked the kid. I gathered he was some sort of office boy for the local paper THE EAST VILLAGE EYE.
    Over the next couple of weeks I saw this kid everywhere. And before you knew it, we were friends. In those days I was very serious about running a gallery and selling work. Even though I had bracketed the gallery as sculpture, it would be an even better sculpture if it made a buck. To this end I tried to kiss anyone's ass that would get me some attention. Remembering THE EV EYE, I determined the guy to impress was their house critic Carlo McCormick. So I penned a really nice, professional letter of introduction for my stable of artists. This being before ATMs, let alone the internet, I dropped it in the mail, awaiting a reply.
   Then one day, hanging in the gallery, smoking pot and watching cartoons with Tony Oursler and Brian Routh, in came Chuckles with a big grin on his face. Tony and Brian both perked up and greeted him. "Hi Carlo." they chimed. Not paying too much attention I also greeted him and passed him the weed. It was here he pulled from his coat an envelope with familiar script. Only then did I realize that the red haired kid "Chuckles" was in fact the critic of note Carlo McCormick. He slyly put the envelope back in his pocket and never said another word about it.

Fast forward 30 years. Chuck and I are still best of friends. We spend holiday dinners together. I made his family's country house, situated a mile from Shewho's WSSP, into one of my "projects" called WSSP II and his son Tristan and wife Tessa are just as close. I consider them all family. This said, I recommend never, I repeat NEVER getting close to a critic if you want any serious grease. The day before Easter I gave Chuck the tour of three months of hard work on new art. In a glazed over haze he walked quickly through the porch and church, barely acknowledging the work before him. Then he rolled a cigarette, announced that it was time to go and left like he'd just been to the proctologist. On the way out the door Tessa looked at me with sorrowful understanding. She knew my pain. Only she gets it worse than I do. The only thing more problematic than being friends with a critic is marrying one.

In all honesty CM is one of the few who have written consistently on my work since the 80's. Since he religiously refuses to read my blog I don't have to worry about him getting offended. Critics are way easier to find than friends, so I guess I'll give him a bye. I wonder where that letter is?