I’ve gone blind. I exaggerate. A little. I can see, but it feels like I ought to be blind.
I only attempted to watch all of Breaking Bad in one sitting. I knew better. But every time I tried to look away, some new nuance of the story, the camera work, or the acting just drew me back in. About fifty hours later I have to admit I am hungry.
And my eyes won’t close.
Or open again.
He may be the one who knocks, but I won’t be answering the door.
At first glance, one could easily assume the painting was all a mass of black, and wonder why it was framed and hung at all. But with more time, one begins to see the subject more clearly. Everything in the frame is dark, and there isn’t a lot of light shining on the subject. The artist has also used techniques involving dark varnish so that some features only stand out when the painting is illuminated correctly.
With study, the central figure stands out, and is clearly not the subject of the work. The subject is the small black cat posed in his lap. Once seen, the cat’s eyes are difficult to unsee. And once seen, other cat’s eyes can be spotted all over the canvas.
The original title for the work is “A young man and his cat”. A better title would be “a masterful cat and her dutiful slave, and minions”.
The scene laid out before me was a rush of sound, colors, flavors, and smells.
At the center of the storm was a man dressed in crisp chef whites. He hardly needed to speak as his kitchen operated like a well-oiled machine around him. As he reached for each part of the elaborate dishes he assembled, they were always at hand. The choreography perfect, the timing impeccable, and the finished presentations works of art. At the outer fringes, interns worked frantically, hoping one day to be noticed and brought into the inner circle.
Almost as an afterthought, the finished works of art were whisked away by the perfectly attired staff for delivery to the patrons.
No movements were wasted. Each player knew their part in the larger dance, and each arrived on their marks exactly on cue.
And yet, somehow, each managed to make room for the kitten that wandered from station to station as if inspecting everyone’s work, and who seemed to be giving the final approval to each dish served.
I knew without asking that no one would admit the kitten was there, that the kitten was the real master of this kitchen.
The chaos was palpable, even though most of the players had departed the stage.
A few large shiny black feathers were a clue to the original sitter. On close inspection, several of them had tiny teeth marks. On even closer inspection, a whisker or two might be found near the feathers.
A lone jawbone hinted that their may have been some props on the table. The rest of the skull, however, was no longer center stage. Feeling that something may be watching, you look away from the empty table and spot the skull off to the side, clearly wishing it has its jawbone from the way it stares wistfully at the table.
There may be a player or two lurking, waiting for a new victim to pounce upon. A rustling noise leads the eye to the top of a tall wardrobe, where a somewhat bedraggled raven sits above its door, feathers in disarray. It is no longer a patient bird, having endured at least one kitten’s attention.
The remaining kitten struts proudly back and forth in front of the wardrobe, then bounds over once it notices that it has an audience.