Photo Fantastique October 19, 2006 – Posted in: Aberrant Normalcy

Sonya Taffe in KGB WindowLast night was the monthly KGB reading. I schlepped all the way over to the east side to see and hear six readers from the new Salon Fantastique. (Mind you, it was worth it.) While Rick Bowes was reading his piece I noticed Sonya Taffe sitting demurely in the window. The KGB bar has this wonderful blood-red hue, highlighted with a little orange from these glass-ensconced overhead lights. Sonya had pushed the long curtains aside and was backlit by pallid light from the street. It was wonderfully picturesque, and I tried to snap a shot of her. The first one gave her terrible red-eye. While focusing, an eager man behind me grabbed my camera and took a shot of Rick Bowes. I enjoy Mr. Bowes’s stuff, but — sorry Rick — I was trying to capture the image of the girl in the windowsill. The result of that effort is the shot you see here. The flash destroyed the wonderful lighting, but I think it still is quite picturesque. It makes me want to paint. “The Girl in the Windowsill,” by Matt Kressel.

During Jeff Ford’s reading someone behind me (the same eager person?) chuckled maddeningly at lines that weren’t necessarily funny. Something about bodies slung over tree branches and berries growing out of animal carcasses struck this man as hilarious (and almost every other line too). His laughter was infectious — I thought the crowd was laughing in the way a sitcom laugh track makes you laugh even though you know that inane line wasn’t that funny; it might not have been funny at all — you just giggle because everyone else is. I wonder how Jeff Ford felt, because I don’t think his piece was written as comedy. The giggling man also heckled Ellen Datlow at the end, the first time I’d ever seen anyone do that (besides, perhaps, the fearless Gavin Grant.) Ellen mentioned next month’s guest and the man shouted, “But I came here for her!”

As I walked the long trek across the city, back to the west side and my faithful PATH train I overheard two men in conversation (or rather, “versation”, only one was talking — the other just nodded his assent.) His words went something like this:

“This guy walks in to the brunch in chinos and a bright red nike shirt and leather shoes.” Other man nods. “I’m so glad I got married. Now, if I go out for brunch, I can just wear jeans and a polo shirt.”

Amen, brother!