Gordy Grundy, Hello My Name Is..., 2006
Gilcee on Arches paper
8 x 18 inches; Edition of 40

The Thin Purple Line
Gordy Grundy

Upon the recommendation of a Deity, I am about to fulfill my destiny.
Not so long ago, I had a mind-blowing vision. Fortunately, this time I wasn't driving the car; I was sleeping rather soundly in my own bed when a blinding light awakened me.
I sat up, startled. The clock read 1:11AM.
A dazzling silver glow, spinning like God’s own disco ball, hovered above the foot of my bed. From it, a female voice asked, “Fernando Suzuki?” I yanked the covers to my chin, not out of fear, but modesty.
I sleep in the nude and I didn’t want to get slapped. Plus I had just woken up and, you know, the wood was a branch…

“Fernando Suzuki” repeated the voice like a thunderclap.
“My n-n-name is Gordy Grundy”, I replied.
“Sorry,” said the now-velvet voice, “Suzuki is my 4:20.”
Suddenly, the light before me exploded like a thousand roman candles. A sound, a crash, both frightening and comforting, was so loud that I knew the neighbors would be calling the cops again.
From this radiating light, a woman began to appear. At first I thought it was the Statue of Liberty. She was robed, sandaled and her gaze was steadfast. Instead of a torch, she held a down turned sword that was emblazoned with the word ‘Fortuna’ on the hilt. It was then that I realized she looked just like Angelina Jolie.
“You’re Grundy then?”
“Yes,” I replied, “Yes!”
I didn’t mean to sound eager, but it was obvious that my time was up. Not that I was looking to check out, but I was grateful to go in my sleep, without pain, without scandal nor humiliation. I’ve lived a good life. However short. Why not now?
I’ve seen Beauty go in and out of fashion, and back again. I remember art before it had issues. I’m sick of hearing about the Middle East, hurricanes and the box office slump in Hollywood. My regrets are few: Not enough sex. Not enough dough. I’ve never been to Tahiti… I raised my arm and extended my hand. Without a quiver in my voice, I said, “Take me.” With the speed of the ethereal, Angelina slapped me upside the head with her sword. The blow made a loud, hollow thwack, but it didn’t hurt.
“I’m not here for that,” she said tiredly. “Besides, you’re not gonna die painlessly in your sleep.”
I started to get hysterical. “Then how am I gonna…?”
“I won’t say,” she snickered, “But it’s a good one.”
I yelped again like a scared puppy. Angelina just shook her head, and wiped an eye as if she were recovering from a laughing jag.
“Oh! It’s nothing you can’t handle,” she said. “You’re an artist. You already know about destitution, ridicule and insignificance…. Relax.” Her glow seemed to burn a little bit brighter as if she were getting down to business.
“I’m here with a message,” she said. “You’ve been chosen as a Messenger. You must bring peace to the world.”
My pause was long. I couldn’t help but reply sarcastically. “World peace? How the hell am I gonna do that?!”

She whacked me again with her sword. “Stop swearing so much. Your art. Use your art to prove that religion is fashion… We figure, if humanity realized that religious affiliation is no more important than the label in your collar, then all of you might stop killing each other. --- It’s a last ditch effort. We’ve tried everything else.”
“Last ditch—What?!” I cried.
“Mankind hasn’t done anything interesting since you nailed Christ. Just-- Just use your art.”
“Art?!” -- Lady, my art dealer’s in jail!
“I know,” she said apologetically, “That’s why I wanted someone else. Unfortunately, I don’t manifest destiny; I just swing it.”
The room was silent except for the quiet “But… But… But…” which was coming from my mouth like an Evinrude outboard motor.
She glanced at her wristwatch that looked like a sundial on a strap. “Hey, I’ve got a 3:15 in Philadelphia,” she said, “You’ll have to figure it out. You’re a smart ass. And you’re lucky. And now -- you’re the Messenger!”
By then, my morning erection had all but vanished. And so was she. Her sharp features began to blur and the light began to intensify in the room. I called after her, “Messenger?! Why can’t I be a spokesman? ---You know what they do to the Messenger...!”
But it was too late. She was gone. The last thing I saw were those fleshy lips fade into the light -- And the room fell dark once again. I couldn’t sleep after that. It wasn’t the cover girl vision or the alarming message that kept me awake -- It was the cops, pounding on the door, trying to break up another party.
The next day felt like a bad hangover. It wasn’t the usual “Another round! Another round!” thundering in my head like two trashcan lids banging together. It was “World Peace! World Peace!” Damn. I wish she said “Lottery Winner! Lottery Winner!”
Now, I must follow the Vision of the Goddess Fortuna, Creator of the Universe and Purveyor of Luck. I must fulfill my destiny to bring peace to the world.
Naturally, I cancelled my weekend plans.
All I can say is, the Goddess Fortuna had better be a Vision. Because I’ll be really pissed off if I find out she was merely another hallucination--or is that the razor sharp edge of the Thin Purple Line?


ARTL!ES Fall 2006

ARTL!ES, A Texas Art Journal, can be found here.