Friday, November 23, 2012

Does Size Really Matter?

With the Knicks visiting the Jeremy Lin-led Rockets tonight (I can't wait), it seems like the right time for a sports metaphor.

I hope it's complicated.
Complicated?  It's labyrinthine.
Good.

So you're happily married to a woman named, let's say, Nikki.  Then, as marriages do, things fall apart.  You can apply blame, but you choose not to (although, just between you and me, you mostly blame her meddlesome parents).  Sadly, the marriage becomes unbearable.  Horrible.  You get a divorce and flee for your life.  Thank God there are no children.

Ten years later you are still so scarred you say to yourself if you never saw another woman it would still be too soon.  Then one day you're standing in the Gagosian gallery on 24th Street staring at a huge painting by Richard Phillips of some famous model ...


Out of the corner of your eye you notice someone else is standing in front of the painting.  A woman.  A beautiful woman.  She turns and says, "This guy really can't paint worth a shit, can he?"

In case you're not in the loop with Richard Phillips (and there's no shame in not being in this particular loop), he's the guy who shoots pretentious short videos of Lindsay Lohan which are labyrinthine metaphors about the perils of fame (short versions of which can be seen here and here), then takes stills from the movies and turns them into colossal paintings.  Here's another one, taken I think from the first video ...


Anyway, the woman is a knock-out.  To see her in sunlight is to see Marxism die.  Green eyes.  Long blonde hair, pulled up into a loose bun held together by what appear to be a couple of chopsticks; chunks of hair coming out of nowhere, artfully askew.  She's wearing skinny jeans, a pair of black patent leather Christian Louboutin MaryJanes and, surprisingly, a Number 33 Patrick Ewing jersey.  If she moves just the right way, you glimpse one of those theatrical bras that prolly cost more than her shoes.  You're thinking perhaps La Perla.

"No he can't," you respond.
"He's one of those guys who thinks that lousy painting somehow improves if it's executed on a massive scale," she says.  She has a Scandinavian accent.  "Men are such idiots," she adds.
"He does have a nice, kind of air-brushed touch with the flesh tones," you suggest.
"Yes he does.  But that's not enough to save the paintings.  Plus, painting celebrities is like -- how do you Americans say it? -- shooting cheese in a barrel."
"Fish," you say.
"Fish?  Yes, of course fish."
She looks back up at the painting for a long time.
"I like cheese," she finally says.  "I like the soft cheese that drips all over your fingers and when you're finished you have to lick it off."

Her name is Astrid and you, against all odds, fall deeply in love.  And suddenly New York is magical.  The air smells great.  The city is beautiful in ways you never quite realized before.  Likewise Astrid -- every day a revelation.

Six months later she announces that she's been offered a position as one of the cheerleaders for the Houston Rockets and that it's an offer she can't refuse. You think about asking her to marry you, but you realize that you would likely not be happy, long-term, with a woman whose number one career goal is to be a Houston Rockette.  

"What about the Knicks City Dancers?" you ask.  The moment the words are out you realize how pathetic it sounds.
"They didn't make me an offer," she replies.  Then, with one of those gestures that fabulously beautiful European woman make, she turns and walks out the door.

A few days go by and, amazingly enough, you realize you are more or less okay.  The city still smells good.  You decide to spend the summer sailing around the Aegean Sea.

The next fall you're standing in the Gagosian gallery on 24th Street staring at one of those huge Richard Serra sculptures ...


Out of the corner of your eye you notice someone else is standing in front of the sculpture.  A woman.  A beautiful woman.  She turns and says, "Richard Serra makes me wish I was a lesbian."

She's a knock-out.  Brown eyes.  Long black hair, pulled up into a loose bun held together by what appear to be a couple of chopsticks; chunks of hair coming out of nowhere, artfully askew.  You're not sure, but there might be a feather in there somewhere.  She's wearing skinny jeans, a pair of Tom Ford padlock ankle-strap pumps, and, surprisingly, a Number 17 Jeremy Lin jersey.  If she moves just the right way, you glimpse one of those theatrical Agent Provocateur bras that prolly cost more than her shoes.

"It really does look sexy, doesn't it?"
"I think it's pornographic," she replies.
She looks back up at the sculpture for a long time.
"I'm so turned on I can barely function," she announces.  "Would you like to get a beer?"

Her name is Shanice and you, against all odds, fall deeply in love.  And suddenly New York is magical.  The air smells great.  The city is beautiful in ways you never quite realized before.  Likewise Shanice -- every day a revelation.

Six months later, you're still in love.  And during the quiet moments of the day you sometimes think of Astrid.  If it wasn't for her, you wouldn't be whole again.  If it wasn't for her, you couldn't have loved Shanice.

Wow.  That was beautiful.
Thank you.
But complicated.
It's supposed to be complicated.
Can you help us out here?
Okay.  Nikki represents the Knicks, from about 1999 to 2011; Nikki's parents are the Dolan family;  Astrid represents Jeremy Lin; Shanice represents either Raymond Felton or Mike Woodson, I'm not sure which.  Does that help?
Very much, although it's an imperfect metaphor.  For instance, the Dolan family still owns the Knicks.  But I'm moved.
Good.
Deeply moved.  It's metaphors like this that make me wish I was a lesbian.

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