Stephen Mead

Just A Moment for Art's Sake!

part of: Entirely At Random

by Jeff Beardwood

“Art…capital “A” Art,” said Malreaux, “is two thirds experience and two thirds expression.”

“That’s too many thirds,” noted Beasley.

“The whole is greater than the sum,” Swan reminded everyone. The laughter equivalent of a golf clap ensued.

Escobar looked bored.

The Café Nuance positively brooded with the bitter scent of espresso and the faintest whiff of a Beckett play for they were, in fact waiting…for inspiration.

After a pause, Beasley stood for a recital, arms flailing in the telltale semaphore of fine Art.
A vacuum
As if we’d recognize Nothing
If we ever saw it!

Mist, Darkness, Existence
All Something
From which we must imagine…

Almost certainly, Beasley would have continued to circle around it further until he’d captured the very essence of Emptiness, had the inconvenient commotion about the fire in the café’s kitchen not broken out at that point.

After watching the distraction for some time, Malreaux noted, “Life is a damned poor place to seek inspiration. Even when something not remotely significant happens, humans circle around it like a pack of wolves, pouncing, nipping, tearing at it ravenously.”

Swan sipped her latté so seductively that lattés everywhere else would be envious of the latté which had just passed her lips…if lattés had a kind of group consciousness thing going on.

Beasley went on, “Life is so messy, the way it keeps switching back and forth between 1st and 3rd person perspectives.”

“Beasley, that’s SO conformist,” Swan pouted. “…SO seventh grade English class.”

Escobar oozed boredom from every pore.

The distraction of the fire seemed to be waning. Good. They could then focus more fully on the act of collaborative creation.

Swan winked at a particularly broad-shouldered looter, his pects bulging impressively as he carried off the Café’s cash register.

Malreaux was wrestling with a metaphor. One could always tell by the pensive way he bit into his lower lip and stared off into space. Finally he began, “Pure Art is a wise hermit guru, on top of an isolated mountain top who meditates all day and knows a lot, even though the cave is cold and his clothes are a bit ripped.”

Having won his tussle with the metaphor, Malreaux hurled it to the ground, sat on its chest and gloated over his mastery.

Escobar tipped the brim of his tam appreciatively and transcended to a state of enlightened ennui.