Modern Times

“They don’t do it on purpose, Ed.”
“Not on purpose? She had her hand in my back pocket, for God’s sake!”
“Well,maybe she likes your… back pocket…”
“Ha.Ha. Ha. I’m no piece of meat, Linda. And it’s not only Wendy you know. It’s Laura, and Ann, and oh yes: Daphne too.”
“Daphne? Come on, darling. She sings in the church choir...”
“She can sing until she weighs an ounce, Linda, but the thing is: she’s tapping my butt. Not once. All the time.”
“Okay, Ed, okay. You WERE wearing that tight Levis you know. I mean…”
“Aha. And so that gives her the right to tap my butt? I’m more than a pretty ass, Linda.”
“Yes you are, honey. That sixpack…”
“O-M-G. I can’t believe this. Linda and Wendy and Daphne are filleting Spinoza and oh there comes Ed, Ed-the-butt-and-pecs…”
“…you forget the biceps, Ed. Tonight, would you be so kind to…”
“I’m not listening to this any longer. See? Shutting my ears. LA-LA-LAAA…!”
“…not to mention your calves, in summer, in that…”
“Yeah, right. Wendy was caressing them while i was serving the mojitos, i remember- Well, end of my serving, Linda. Those drooling mouths every time i come in. Why doesn’t anybody ask ME about Spinoza? Hm? Why-oh-why?”
“…maybe because…”
“…they think i don’t know the 2nd Categorical Imperative? I’ve got brains too you know.”
“The Imperative was Kant, sweetie.”
“Der Wille zur Macht.”
“Sorry, that was Nietzsche.”
“O-M-G Linda, you see? Now you’re doing it yourself!”
“It WAS Nietzsche, darling.”
“’It WAS N…’ You should hear your voice right now, Linda. So that’s what i am to you? A bundle of taut muscles…? Just your little toy? I’m not your dog, you know.”
“Okay,” (throws off his lace kitchen apron) “i’ve had enough of this. I’m going to put on my trousers right now and…”
“Oh sweetheart, now don’t…”
“…and know what i’m gonna do, Linda? Finish my treatise on French early 19thC Rationalism, that’s what i’m gonna do.” (stands arms akimbo, naked up to the waist)
“Oh Ed – i like it when you’re angry, i’m getting all… But- my, oh, my… Now come here my crazy Pooh bear, come to mama…”
“Fuck off Linda.” (throws the apron on the floor, then off. Slams the door).

(‘Il Rito’, by Roberto Ferri.)

(Modern times indeed! The painting above, ‘Il Rito’ (‘The Rite’) by the wonderful Milanese painter Roberto Ferri, inspired me to this dialogue. (Yes,the mind works in mysterious ways.) Roberto Ferri’s roots can be traced back to the baroque, Romanticism and even Symbolism: Caravaggio, Ingres and in some of his themes Félicien Rops.)

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