[Bernhard Living] [Living in the Present Continuous]


[Jean-Luc Balasko]

[the gallery was busy crowded there was a couple a man and a woman together standing right in front of Edvard Munch’s The Sick Child which was one of Jean-Luc’s favourite paintings he knew the painting well was intimate with it but the couple didn’t seem to be really engaged with the painting not immersed in any way to be there but more involved with each other they were both wearing earbuds with the cables leading from their ears to a media player in the man’s jacket pocket the music was so loud that Jean-Luc could hear it from where he was standing and to add to this sensory saturation the man was caressing squeezing his girlfriend’s arse with his hand couldn’t get enough of her so their senses were full to the brim were talking loudly shouting over the music discussing where they were going next as part of their day out what they were going to do that Jean-Luc was first shocked then angered by their behaviour their insensitivity debasement of Munch’s painting which was a portrait of his dying sister that she had TB a sublime representation illness of death dying the couple were acting as if they were out on the street window shopping and didn’t seem to have any real or sincere appreciation of the art that was in the gallery Jean-Luc wanted to grab them and bang their heads together but thought better of it and so went home to write a poem about sensory overload and the living dead]


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