International Left-Handers Day - Left-Handed Fridays at MoMA, by Dudgrick Bevins (PG)
It may seem like a coincidence that Friday the 13th, 2021 fell on International Left-Handers Day, and it may likewise seem serendipitous that exactly seven days before the holiday, med students at Johns Hopkins resurrected Andy Warhol. It is indeed a coincidence and a serendipitous one that Andy’s first ambulatory day was that Left-Handed Friday.
Andy insisted on a trip to MoMA, but only after a trip to the wig shop and “I don’t know, anywhere that sells coffee and Polaroids.” A bit of a Promethean golem, Andy took pleasure in showing off his old and new scars to “fans” who through he was doing “performance zombie art.” As if he had channeled Ru Paul channeling him, he said, “We are all doing performance art; we are all zombies.” He let people touch his scars — “This is from the wreck,” This is where Valerie shot me,” “This is where they replaced my right hand with a second left” — and expected people to pay for Polaroids of the moment. Instead, they wanted selfies on their phones: #celebrityimpersonator #zombiewarhol #15mins
At the museum this continued in the bookstore — his first stop, of course — where he searched for himself. The med students who were not supposed to resurrect the dead, let alone the famous dead, nor were they to leave with any reanimated contraband, were becoming more and more frustrated with Andy’s behavior — particularly his lack of discretion and overall arrogance.
With his arms full of Marilyn Monroe bags, banana magnets, Elvis notebooks, flower postcards, a copy of The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, a DVD of Empire, eight copies of the SCUM Manifesto which he intended to sign and sell, and every pack of Warhol themed Polaroid film in the store, he was approached by a young man dressed as Basquiat, who, upon seeing him called out, “Keith, c’mer!” Basky continued, “We expected to be the only cosplayers at the museum today! Can we get a TikTok with you?” Andy loved eager young men, and figured that clocks were harmless.
When Basky pulled out his phone and said, “Okay, say something like you’re our mentor but be very Andy about it and Keith you be all gay okay?” Andy stopped him: “What is this?” Basky explained, with a mix of confusion over the necessity and ease due to frequency of use, what all the phone did and how the app worked. The med students, who were growing increasingly concerned, started to gently tug Andy away. He in turn resisted them like a throw-away muse. “So,” he said, “anyone in the world can have their own television channel?” Bask and Keith essentially said “Essentially.”
Andy dropped everything in his arms into the floor and turned to his handlers from Johns Hopkins. “You there, yes, with the face thing... take me to get one of these phones so I can tick and tock to my fans.” Basky, at this moment noticed that Andy was not exactly right — in fact, with two left hands he was very wrong. He didn’t have bolts on his neck but he did have scars... well, wounds and stitches that were fresh-ish and beginning to weep.
A scene followed, a scene in which Basky and Keith fled the impending drama, the handlers-cum-med-students tried to hush their growing mistake, and Andy tried to amplify the scene in hopes of be ticked and tocked on as many personal TV channels as possible. The struggle became a physical one when one med student grabbed his arm. Andy, who was known for his love of Campbell’s Soup, his mother, church services, kneeling before young gentlemen, and giving orders but never following them, jerked away, and as such loosened the stitches in his jacket’s shoulder sleeve and in his shoulder socket.
“The world needs signed copies of The Society for Cutting Up Men, copies signed by the man the author wanted to cut up.” He staggered over to the counter as the med students scrambled out of the MoMA bookstore in a mix of fear and sheer embarrassment while Andy said, “I’ll take these please.”
The cashier who had been trying to decide if she should call security or not had in fact already done so, but played it cool with Andy who now had sweat dripping out from the edges of his wig. “That will be $153.75 dollars please, are you a museum member?” He laughed as he reached for his wallet, and Janice, the cashier, watched as George approached from across the lobby. Andy, with both left hands, only had Polaroids to pull from hid pockets. Janice said, “Happy Left-Handers Day,” with a bit of unease as she noticed that both his thumbs pointed right.
“Oh,” he said, “Left-Handers Day!” Then as Andy looked towards Janice’s eyes with a smile, unaware that George was already behind him and held her eyes in a silent check of knowing: “Is this him?” — “Yes.” George grabbed Andy from behind and began dragging him from the store, squeezing just a bit too tightly on his torso.
Andy cried out: “There is a holiday for everyone!” George squeezed as Andy flailed until one arm fell off. Andy screamed: “Anyone can be famous on clock-tock!” A leg fell off, slipping from the pant leg into floor, white and cold. “Everyone is on TV! It’s amazing!” He continued to scream — “Bring me that arm and I’ll sign it for you!” — until his last left hand fell off.
Thrown out on the street with the spray paint artists pretending to be Banksy and painting on maps, he asked the sidewalk, “When is the holiday for resurrected celebrities?”
A homeless passerby in a wheelchair answered: “Easter.”