in the buffet

[written by Jennifer]

about five months ago, I found a set of dining room furniture at a local thrift store that delivered for free. in desperate need of furniture, I also decided to buy a big ugly buffet table that didn’t clash too badly for $25. it was covered in stuff and they said that it had been sitting in the store for years. upon delivery, I opened the cabinets I could open (two were missing handles) and discovered that some remnants from the shop were still inside, but I ignored them as a bunch of crumpled up old sheets that probably concealed dried up pee stains at best or some more substantial organic remains at worst, and partly in order to preserve the mystery but mostly because I was squeamish, I left them in the cupboard to sit or rot or whatever it is old remnants of other people do. last night just before midnight, I had dinner with a friend from college and we sat at the dining room table for the third time I’ve used it since its inception. she remarked that the buffet table’s knobs were missing, and I opened the working ones in order to check out the screws for finding replacements. the stuff was of course still there and with much goading she persuaded me to find out what it was. baby_snowsuitthe first thing we extracted was a tiny, thickly quilted snowsuit with the hanger still on it. this, being baby-shaped and empty, had a creepy vibe to it but seemed innocuous enough. next I unrolled a large unremarkable map of the yosemite valley that was heavily stained with dirt, which was pretty disappointing. but then with much struggling I pulled out what appeared to be a giant spitball of canvas. we partially unrolled it and were very happy to find what appeared to be a somewhat skillfully rendered, extremely colorful and shiny abstract painting, about six by eight feet. my friend thought it might be a football player running with a ball, but it was hard to tell. suffice to say it was really big and we were very close to it. so we pulled it out into the foyer and spread it on the floor to ponder. there, I was quickly able to pick out a woman’s face and what was clearly a nipple. rolled_upanother housemate joined the consultation, and after a good ten minutes we managed to deduce that the painting was of a naked woman tied very tightly to a chair, with her hands bound behind her and the rope cutting into her breasts in a decidedly painful-looking fashion. there was also a big slash across her throat and chest, and her eyes seemed to be covered – mottled grey and red suggested she was either dead or at least severely wounded. but the left side of the picture remained a mystery until my friend suggested that it might be a baseball bat, or a fist punching her other boob from a weird angle, “a fist with a funny thumb.” naturally enough, the funny thumb turned out to look more like a dick, and the left side of the painting rapidly materialized in our horrified eyes as the torso of a man standing over the woman and jacking off. he seems to be standing outside the frame (which means with the viewer! yay!). creepy paintinginitials read (I think) “NM.” I am secretly hoping that the painting is 1) a self-conscious early 80s critique of consumer capitalism or the effect of conflicting standards on feminine identity, 2) unimaginably valuable, or 3) a vital clue in an unsolved string of murders, along with the unused snow-onesie and the dirty map. staples from a past frame line the edges, and I’m still toying with the idea of bringing it to a frame shop and placing an order for it to be framed upside-down, all the while insisting that I am “flummoxed” as to the significance of what is clearly a “kandinsky-esque abstract.” it frightens me to think that someone actually invested in a giant frame for this once. when we showed my other housemate, his response was “well, the question clearly isn’t whether to hang it but where!”

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April 9, 2007. Uncategorized. No Comments.

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