Dinner with Bob and Robert

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 | The Dating Game

Bob made dinner last night for me and Robert Flynt, in town for a few days. Robert has such a pleasant manner, it’s always nice to see him and to see what he’s up to. He’s currently collaborating with a pair of choreographers and will be spending February in France developing the visuals. “In Brest–do you know it?” “No, just the chicken.” “???” Bob chimed in, “You know, Poulet de Brest.” “But it’s near the sea, I can’t imagine them being known for their chickens.” “I think it’s ‘Poulet de Bresse,'” Bob, the dyslexic, finally figured out. All of my witticisms kind of went that way. I’ll spare you.

Bob showed us a pair of portraits that Bill Jacobson made of him and Anthony, his most-recent ex. I was really disturbed by them, but I suppose in a good way. Bob said that Bill had been photographing couples, yet he and Anthony weren’t photographed together, but as separate portraits. They were typical Jacobson blurry. At first I dismissed the blurriness as no longer pertinent, confused by its use, like, why? But then I shook that out of my head and let my eyes read. The images captured each in solid isolation, seated nudes, like figures in the gas chamber or taking a break at the concentration camp, hands planted on their knees like they were about to be frisked, their nudity neither welcoming nor arousing or revealing, just cold, alone, sculptural. My earlier dismissal of Bill’s stylistic posturing gave way to what was an entirely accurate portrait of Bob’s love life. A sadness infused the atmosphere for the rest of the evening that I couldn’t shake. There we were again, being a couple and not being a couple, entertaining an out of town guest as we used to, together, alone.

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