Snow began to fall in the afternoon.
I went to see the Drawings of James Siena first. There was construction in the tunnels. I had to take a train, and a bus and walk a lot. I was icy cold when I arrived.
I went to see Michelle Grabner’s cast Afghan blankets. That was a great show too.
I could not warm up.
I wanted a glass of wine, and a small hot food thing. All around were coffee shops, but I did not want coffee.
My last stop was meant to be the Met Breuer to see the Kerry James Marshall work.
I walked a lot. I took a subway. I took a bus cross town.
I was freezing, and very hungry.
There were bars. The prices for little hot food treats were crazy high. I couldn’t justify it but then I could.
I walked past the Café Carlyle. I wished I could afford it.
I went to the bar downstairs in the Whitney. It looked cozy.
I went to the man seating people and asked for a seat at the bar. He said it would take a little while. It was busy, bustling.
I walked away and began to cry. Of course, when I cry these days it is about more than being cold, hungry.
Suddenly, the Man Who Seats people was at my side. He put an arm around my back. He asked me if I was okay. He took me to the bar and got me a seat. He seemed to have assigned every person at the restaurant to make sure I got water, wine, a small food thing. I looked at the prices. I could afford an endive salad, and a glass of wine. I am embarrassed to say what I paid for this. A lot. The wait staff glanced at me now and then to see that I was not crying anymore. That I was okay. It was genuine. Then they brought me a dessert. It was icy cold but I ate a little because they were so nice to give it to me.
When I finished and had to meet a friend upstairs I thanked the Seating Man, whose name is Robert Banat. He works at Flora, in the Whitney. He is a very very kind man.
Kerry James Marshall’s paintings were a tour de force.
I was tired and sad when I got back to Brooklyn, but I was also so grateful.
Life is complicated these days.
Coda: Robert Banat gave me a business card. He photographs famous artists in their studios. I sent him an e mail, thanking him again. I sent him a few images of my work, because he seemed to care about who I was. I did not hear back. I wish I would have.