Bodies

It was a dull day in the office and I was at my desk working when Connie called me, “Kristie Glover is in New York!” she said, super excited.

I knew Glover was someone who Connie talked about, frequently, but I couldn’t recall immediately who she was, and I didn’t want to offend Connie. So I just said, “cool, are you going to see her?”

“Yeah, she’s talking at the church hall, bring the girls, seven pm.”

“Ok,” I said. Was Kristie some religious figure. Had I just agreed to go see a crank?

I was surrounded by books on feminism, especially the depictions of women in art. From the homosexual Michelangelo’s visions of The Virgin, to Annalika’s vain erotic portraits, and everything in between. I had taken to wearing black, dressing in long skirts and old band t-shirts. I don’t know if I was ashamed of my body, or just hyper-conscious. Sometimes I envy the islamic women I see wearing hijab. The simplicity of it. I know many people find these coverings offensive, paradoxically making the female body an issue in their very attempt to hide it. But it must be a relief to be invisible, just for a day.

The sun was shining through the plate glass window, making the dust flecks in the air dance above my desk. Minute twists of hair catching the light as they fell through space. What is dust? What is it made of? Mundanely I think it is fibres from clothes and furniture. Bits of cotton and nylon. And then dirt, skin cells and bits of cobweb.

There was nothing pressing, and none of the directors were around, so I used the afternoon to work on my dissertation. Work and study overlap so often, that I can sometimes get away with this. I had odd notions that I should separate the two. But no. The gallery hired me for my knowledge of art. And my course director insists that we participate in art. So I am not going to feel bad about writing my essays in the office. It’s not as if we clock in and out or get paid by the hour. The gallery has demanded many an evening or a Saturday of my private time. I wrote three thousand words which I emailed to my supervisor. Then I made figurines out of the blue-tack on my desk.

Then I called Yasmin. “Kristie Glover is in town,” I said.

“Ohmygod!!!” said Yasmin.

Gina came back from a meeting. We had kind of made up after our dispute over Katy. “We’re going to see Kristie Glover,” I said. “Awesome,” said Gina. We called Lina and Connie, and even invited Kathleen Rixon. The thought of her and Connie being in the same room amused me. I wondered what Kathleen would make of Connie’s new eyebrow piercing, and what Connie would make of Kathleen’s latest hedge-fund shenanigans.

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