Space and Time
He went to an exhibit of photographs of people standing goofily with
iconic art. They had their arms around it, sat in its lap. They used
their fingers for mustaches, exploiting perspective. They got bawdy.
The people interacted with the art in the photos within a range that
included mean-spirited, mindlessly reverent, and just trying to make it
stop bugging them. It's not like he felt that looking at art was grim,
although sometimes he felt good and grim looking at art. It's not like
he felt looking at art was one thing. But in his thoughts he was
participating in a millennial chain of erasure, looking and being
cancelling each other out. In the final room was a hologram of a statue
surrounded by holograms of people pointing at the art, surrounded by
people hopping around like monkeys, surrounded by people pointing at
the people who were acting like monkeys. All the figures were strobing
from 3-D color representations to black and white 2-D representations.
There was some kind of algorithm about which figures
were represented in which way through a sequence. You could walk in
among the holograms, probably, but he didn't get that far, because
that's when his wife called him from the Everglades, where she was
hunting anacondas that had washed from homes in the hurricane and taken
over. She'd read all about it on the internet and flown down to help
like Sean Penn. "An anaconda has exploded
from swallowing an alligator its same size," she whispered. "I am
looking at this spectacle as we speak. I am up to my knees."
She was British and that still made her sound authoritative on nature.
"It's so Jurassic,
When an anaconda begins to miscalculate
in this manner…" she said, her voice quavering within the
uneven reception. "I find it deeply troubling."
Lucy Corin is the author of the short story collection The Entire
Predicament (Tin House Books) and the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A
History for Girls (FC2). Her stories have appeared in American Short Fiction,
and others. "On Their Minds," "Superpowers," and "Space and Time" are
part of a
work in progress, A Hundred Apocalypses.