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Legion. An amalgamated journal.

Collodion

Part 2

My only interview with Ambrose was conducted three Septembers ago in front of his most famous installation Love Is Three Chickens in a Row and the Middle One Is Named Frank (2001). We had been standing ten inches apart for ten minutes before he said, “What would you do if that man there walked up to you, pointed his martini at the middle chicken, and said, ‘I think he looks like more of a Benny.’ ”

“The one in the purple tie?”
“Exactly.”
I gave him the look I would give the man.
“You’re hired.”

Ambrose wasn’t really so eccentric, he just did something like that every once in a while to keep a hand in the eccentric game. The truth is, he shopped at Sears without a shred of irony. Even so, he would never have said a word to me if I hadn’t somehow become reed thin over the summer and quite accidentally gotten the chic-est bob ever to sally forth from Supercuts.

Ambrose handed me a drink from a tray that was going around on the arm of a very worried waitress.

“Have you ever been a muse before?”
“Not to my knowledge.”
“Never?”
“Jim Jackson was once inspired to write about me on a bathroom wall.”
“What became of it?”
“Luke told everybody Jim was gay.”
“And what became of that?”
“It turned out Luke was gay.”
“Who’s Luke?”
“He’s over there.”
“He’s hired too.”

Of course I’m an orphan. What became of all this was the type of thing that never happens to people with concerned parents, or at least not to decent people with concerned parents. Decent people realize that it’s very important to value family ties. Besides, it wasn’t glamorous all the time. It mostly was, though. Luke and I had planned for just such an eventuality all along. We were entirely premeditated and wonderful at hiding it. That was why Ambrose needed us.

Maryellen McGowan

April 22nd, 2008 at 10:10 pm