The Rescue Bears

by Andrew Pagana


Earned Leave this week.  I went to an art show on Wilshire.

I was lucky to get my three hour leave approved so that I could be there to support an artist friend of mine (Andy Pagana of Schwartzy n’ Pagana) in his debut showing.  That SOB can paint like a MOFO.  And he does.  He was featured at the annual RAW Artists event.  He showed a series of paintings, entitled “Rescue Bears.”  Each painting captures the image of an antique teddy bear that might be otherwise forgotten by the world.

I used to go to events in LA all the time.  Ah, but that was in the days of old.  Long before I got clamped and stamped, and sequestered in my apartment like a hunted animal.  Now, as I was getting ready to go to the show and gussying myself up like a blue-ribbon hog for the county fair, I found that I wasn’t as prepared for this kind of thing as I once was.  I didn’t know what to wear.  I’m home seven nights a week, so I’m simply not accustomed to dressing up for an occasion, unless it’s basic entertaining at my apartment with a casual dress and maybe some wedges.

RAW Artists 2012

I have done a good deal of shopping since I’ve been on house arrest, whether through spending my feelings online or impulsively charging into stores during Earned Leave in desperate attempts to squeeze some joy out of my brief hours of freedom.  So, I have new clothes.  But, that’s not to say that I’ve nailed down any practical use for them.  For example:  I love American Apparel.  In particular, I love their black chiffon.  I’ve collected it over the past few months.  I had envisioned myself draped in it, as in the catalogs, and floating through some party like a chic goddess– the epitome of sophistication and style.  In reality, when I found myself with an opportunity to wear it, it went more like me waddling into the party alone, open-mouthed and sweaty, and wearing a thrown-together ensemble of what appeared to be a transparent black tarp hurled over cheap lingerie.  After a horrifying encounter with a bathroom mirror once I arrived, I wished that I could partake in the open bar that the other guests were enjoying, and drown any awareness or memory of the disturbing image I’d witnessed in the reflection.  But, I had to go.  Earned Leave was over, again, as was any fleeting sense of freedom to live outside of the confines of my single apartment.  At least, for once, no one was staring at my ankle bracelet.

76 days to go.

“Rescue Bears”

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