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Uncle Bubba was a failed schemer.

Alberto Giacometti’s 'Portrait of James Lord'

He was always trying to convince everybody, or maybe just himself, that he could get something going, get out of warehouse work someday, be a biggety. He acted like a biggety too, always drove a block-long second-hand Cadillac. He wouldn't have a car if it wasn't a Cadillac, or a woman if she wasn't high yaller. The way she remembered it, the house became off-limits to Uncle Bubba when she was fourteen because her mamma caught him sneaking a feel on Cheryl. There was a time when she wouldn't let him use the term colored.

She used to run her pie hole quite a bit in the beginning, starting out. Now she mostly listened. Anybody could be played. You just had to listen to them, let them think it was their way. He was sweating. In the three years she had known him he had gained a lot of weight, and he had been fat to begin with. Now he was always sweating. No matter what the temperature was he sweated, and he was forever soaking rivulets of sweat in a soiled handkerchief he kept in the pocket of his suit coats, complaining about the heat and promising to God to diet. Robert could have been thought of as handsome once.

He had acted in movies full time until recently. He was pretty well hung. He'd do anything for a buck. He still made appearances when he could get the work, in everything from straight to transsexual to gay and fetish films. Cheryl had appeared in one film with him, back when she was Miss Sinn.

She was dressed in leather, the whole dominatrix trip. She didn't mind fetish films. For one thing, in most of them she seldom had to completely undress. She never had to fuck. For another thing, she got to be in control. In this particular film, she twisted Robert's balls and spanked him hard with a Ping-Pong paddle. It was then that she discovered his particular kink, and maybe her own as well. She hadn't enjoyed anything she had ever done on film so much as she enjoyed beating Robert's big hairy ass red with that paddle.

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My opinion is you're the prettiest colored girl making these movies. You're a looker all right.

Next of Plausible

Gimme a wet one for old times. They didn't really kiss. Cheryl didn't want it and it was unlikely that Robert wanted it either. He just liked to fall back on that mack type of shit. Sometimes he liked to talk like he was black. In his mind he was cool.

  • Plausible Portraits of James Lord has been added.
  • Plausible Portraits of James Lord : With Commentary by the Model.
  • That was just in his mind, though. She was defined and circumscribed by that. Heck, this whole line of work was built on contrasting skin color and big dicks, that and new faces. It was for that reason, that unless a girl were some kind of transcendent star who could sell a video with the image she had built over dozens, maybe hundreds, of features and magazine layouts, it paid to keep being a new face, or to keep doing something new on camera for the first time.

    Plausible portraits of James Lord : with commentary by the model

    Now and then Cheryl liked to go to a church in Oakland. She always put something in the plate. Sometimes she spoke to the minister afterward. She never joined the church, but she had given it considerable thought. All the way to the shoot she had thought about church, about getting lost in the orgiastic vocal dexterity of the choir.

    Plausible Portraits of James Lord With -

    Cheryl had a passable voice. She thought that she would like to sing in a choir, maybe the choir of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Oakland. She would throw her arms out and shake her head and stomp her foot and take the whole congregation right along with her. If not that, then she would just like to sit in the middle of the bed with everything she shouldn't eat spread out in front of her. She would gorge as if she didn't have to worry about how she looked. She was thinking of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with lots of mayonnaise dripping from her mouth onto the percale sheets.

    The trouble with that was the more she thought about it the more it sounded like something in a movie she had made. The mayonnaise in her mouth and in her lipstick looked like the semen it would soon be replaced by, and she couldn't taste the bacon at all. Cheryl was getting dressed now.

    She was driving up to the shoot alone. She had been to this particular location before, a really nice house that belonged to some minor actress and her husband.

    And yet through his connection with the great artists of his day, it was inevitable that Lord would himself become the object of the artist's gaze. In fact, from the time he was a young man, Lord sat for many of the major and minor painters and photographers of his day, including Balthus, Cocteau, Cartier-Bresson, Freud, Giacometti, and Picasso--in all but one case at the artist's request.

    In Plausible Portraits, Lord gathers, alongside these images, his reflections, penetrating the mind of artist and model alike in a sequence of illuminating double portraits of two masters at work. He was too sly not to know this, and the knowledge is pathetically self-evident in the pitiful self-portraits of the artist's final years.

    He was terrified of dying, having been too callous during his lifetime to envision the beauty of oblivion. Where in his Inferno Dante would have placed Picasso is a matter for tantalizing, somber, and lamentable conjecture. Why today I take the liberty of articulating notions so long ago left idle is probably a simple surrender to the temptation of having a final fling with half a century's cumulative but supererogatory musings, which, of course, have everything to do with the possession,the pertinence, and the power of portraits, their maker and their model.

    Of all such intimations, to be sure, I had not the slightest inkling in war-worn Paris in the month of December , when I braced my brashness at the pinpoint of Picasso's doorbell. As to the durable changes in my life brought about by pressing it, I have quite sufficiently described them elsewhere, albeit without dwelling very much on the issue of portraiture per se, though the two drawings made of me by Picasso are by no means unmentioned. The treacherous seductiveness of a portrait had never before tempted my introspective vulnerability.

    To be sure in that long-ago, grisly autumn I had lived with the propinquity of death as never before or after. My own transformation into a corpse did not at the time seem likely, of course, because soldiers take their personal survival for granted. Besides, I was seldom in any danger.

    Dying, however, was very much on my mind, in my dreams and before my eyes, a single visit to a field hospital scarring one's visual remembrance more than enough to last a lifetime. But I looked for forgetfulness, too, in the belief that art could confer the only kind of immortality worth living for. Rembrandt, Beethoven, Balzac. Oh, I scanned the heavens, didn't I? And yet it's true, it's absolutely true I had no idea what my mind was doing, but it did believe in the grand hypothesis of greatness if I could but approach it, see it for myself, touch it, even possess the proof.

    Yes, my outrageous desire was merely to amount to more than James Lord could ever hope to, foolish boy. The really redeeming geniuses, however, were inconveniently immortal already. Nevertheless there was one who certifiably did live and create in the very land where worldwide insanity had sent me.

    So there was someexistential cause concealed within the purpose, not to mention the propriety, of pressing Picasso's doorbell. The first portrait which at my request he, or anyone else, for that matter, ever made of me was drawn during lunch in a restaurant called Le Catalan several days after the fateful tinkle of the bell. Genius is wont to fight shy of conquests that are too easy. To capture a likeness is one thing, to accept its surrender is very definitely another. I had made the acquaintance of a great artist, the most famous and emblematic of his era, and been given a portrait of myself from his hand, tangible proof--was it not?