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Forcing the Hand, pt. 3

Several days later another voice mail from Will is waiting on my machine. Clearly unhinged by my bout of self-sabotaging phone calls, he is making it clear that I’ve pressed too hard. “Listen man,” he cautions, “tell your lady friend to stop tearing down my signs all over the place, because that shit’s not cool!” Shit man, I think as I listen, how does he know that I’ve got a lady friend? Does he know that I’ve got a mother and brother as well? Who the hell is this guy, and how long has he been watching me? Then his conspiratorial threads begin to unravel as he speaks of DPW operatives and the cartel of jealous dog walkers conspiring with my lady friend to purge the city of his entrepreneurial presence. A bit of an offbeat take on the ordering of the universe, I assure myself, but not really one that would inspire a vengeful rampage against everything that I’ve ever loved. So I do what now comes natural: I put in another call.

This time Will answers and I take the opportunity to jump right in and explain that he’s got me confused with someone else. Hell, I tell him, I don’t even know any professional dog walkers. Not in the mood for talk, Will cuts me off. “I’m done with this,” he says, “you can pick up your drawings at the Peet’s Coffee on Van Ness.” And with that it’s over. I’m shut out and cut off, and whatever Will wants to throw my way is what I get for my money. The man has my name, my phone number and my money. He also has a vehicle filled with dogs that may or may not be eager to meet me. Needless to say, this has gone badly. No doubt, Will is in charge, and has been from the outset. Any thoughts I’d entertained of cultivating patronage, of commissioning endless ‘outsider’ masterpieces of my own dictation have been instantly exposed as pure hubris. And to top it all off, I can now add decrepit vehicles boasting ominous ‘Beware of Dog’ signs propped on the dash to my ever-expanding register of indelible phobias.

Beware of Dog

But I feel like I should end this on a semi-positive note. As promised, Will has delivered the final portraits along with the original photos, and after collecting them midday from a thoroughly confounded employee at the specified Peet’s, Charles and I have spent an evening staring at them spread atop the bend in a neighborhood bar. Tracings. Nothing but tracings:

cat portrait

Cat model


“Wow,” Charles says, “I mean . . . wow.” Then he buys a round for my troubles.

For further reading and great posters from this infamous artist:

The Way it Could Have Been
Cheesy Rider! Rides Again…
Don’t Let The Tumor Stop Me!
I Love My Cat


3 comments for “Forcing the Hand, pt. 3”

  1. yo dudes,

    I had to lol… This is fantastic! your writing skills and good humor are terrific and your story is a complete hoot!!! I think you and charles ought to think about searching the city for more opportunities… to write about the everyday stuff most leave undiscovered. Reading between the lines is an art itself. Too many people pass by the most amazing stuff & happenings… but you seem to get it! You have perspective on your side, and seem to have a sensitive constitution… while at the same time, you exhibit sanity! You have left me wanting more!

    Posted by Iris | February 3, 2008, 10:20 am
  2. Oh yeah, evil dr. phil is back, the shit house poet… I have a whole new analysis for this will shit, not only that, but i will be giving you my psychic pet reading absolutely fucking free of charge.

    I’ll keep it simple… (cuz god knows there’s another “interpretation of dreams” waiting to spew from my miraculous insight into all this and the universe and all that…LOL)

    Will inscribes: “Oh No! Don’t Go! Don’t Leave me Lonely”

    At first glance it seems trivial, but lets look deeper using my John Edward-esque like abilities… shall we? (I know your thinking, hell yes, enlighten me oh great one!)

    Will has abandonment issues. It is as simple as that. My guess is that his father was absent or at the very least distant. To boot, his mother was an alcoholic. Also, he had some kind of chronic illness as a child, possibly circulatory, see… I’m seeing flowers, flowers indicate allergies, and that indicates, an allergy… (fuck that was a tough deduction!) he was isolated in a hospital with pneaumonia! Oh shit, that was me?

    OH SHIT, will is pulling his energy back now… he’s not showing me pink flowers… so, i guess he doesn’t love you. bummer.

    Now, let me read this little kitty…. Firstly, what the fuck is that third bowl for? I mean goddamn, what is that about? You’ve got your food and water dishes, but that third bowl… I don’t know about that shit.

    I’m getting the impression that this cat is a male. I could be wrong. Did someone make a comment about cutting his balls off? He heard that. Also, he’s a sexy type, and the prospect of being de-balled has him hyper sexual in this picture. He needs desperately to mate. If this is a female cat, all I can tell you is, she’s a lesbian. A very sexual cat there. Then again, I think all cats are very sexual…. They can’t help it there just wired up like that. Take him and get him laid. It’s just a thing man. Handle it.

    Also, I think a thought he was thinking in that picture was…

    “What is the fucking deal with that man bag? The colors are all off and it is clashing with the everything… oh shit, it’s purely for utility! well, o.k.”

    and he resolved his phobia of being stuffed in the man bag and started thinking about sex again.

    That is all.

    The Shit House Poet

    P.S. I’m not too keen on the first pic, but that second picture with the inscription is definitely worth the goddamn hassle and shenanigans. Clearly, will is a mother fucker of invention. Oh yeah, I have to take back all that bad shit i wrote about him. Sorry will.

    Posted by The Shit House Poet | February 5, 2008, 12:02 am
  3. To second the sentiment:


    Nina’s portrait really lives up to the advertisements.

    Oh no don’t leave me alone.

    Posted by emel | February 21, 2008, 11:56 pm

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