The Picasso

August 15th, 1967

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just picked up my new girlfriend. She was quite a catch for me, I don’t think I ever had a girlfriend as beautiful. She was blond with a long ponytail.

Well, anyway, to get back to my story. The plan was to go to downtown Chicago, wander around, have lunch and maybe take in a movie. But we got caught up in a crowd at the Civic Center Plaza.

“ What’s up?” I asked a bystander.

“ They’re unveiling Picasso’s gift to Chicago.”

“ Oh, he’s the guy that paints those funny pictures.”

“ That’s right, but this is supposed to be a iron sculpture.”

“ I can’t wait to see what it looks like,” said my girlfriend.

“ Well, according to the papers, it will be a sculpture for people who like to laugh at the ridiculousness of the human condition.”

Up on the podium, were the Mayor and several men of the cloth, giving speeches. I thought that strange because Picasso was an atheist.

Then the Mayor pulled the ribbon and the covering fell away. My girlfriend and I stood there with a thousand other people with our mouths open. There was some applause but most of the audience were silent.

“ What is it?’ my girlfriend whispered.

“ I don’t know,” I stammered.

Before us stood a three-dimensional, cubist sculpture standing 50 feet tall.

“ It’s a big ugly metal thing,” someone shouted.

“ If Picasso did it, it must be wonderful,” someone else exclaimed.

“ Chicago now has culture,” someone said sarcastically.

My girlfriend and I walked around the metal thing to see it from different angles. Most of the people still there, a lot left, shaking their heads, were standing stiff completely blank-faced.

The eyes of the sculpture had a cold mean look. One man said it reminded him of Al Capone.

We were at the side of the sculpture, when I said, to my girlfriend.

“ It looks like you in profile with your long ponytail.”

She just stared at me.

The guy next to us said,” No, it looks like a baboon.”

My girlfriend walked off in a huff and got lost in the crowd. I never saw or heard from her again.

4 thoughts on “The Picasso

  1. Dave, Think about it, your in Chicago, land of the mob,home to scarface Capone, anything can happen, she’s just another victim of the Chicago Nightstalker, one of the many that disapear in Chacago and are never heard from again. So don’t blame yourself it wasn’t anything you said!

  2. I remember the sculpture well. I couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to depict. Even though I took an art appreciation class in college and we studied Picasso, and the professor tried to explain what Picasso mean’t. I didn’t see it then and I don’t see it now. I guess my culture is not that of an intellectual. Oh well, I’m 73 and I don’t really care.

  3. What I like about your writing is that we never know when to take you seriously and when you are making it all up. If it IS a true story then you had a lucky escape … the girl had no soul.

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