Honey, I’m home. Let’s get divorced.

14 Feb

Yes, I’m back and have been since Friday. No, I don’t know what’s next, other than that my wife and I — Happy Valentine’s Day, honey — are starting divorce proceedings, which my father-in-law, a civil-rights attorney I haven’t met, is handling pro bono. (The biggest laugh line in our vows — “to refrain from any major purchases until the divorce is finalized” — was inserted at his suggestion.)

Photo by Timothy Gonzalez for the Darbys

We’ll be able to start planning our divorce party once we know the court date, which sounds like it will be sometime in April.

Apart from that, the last few days have been filled with transitioning from living out of my car to making my apartment inhabitable, which it really wasn’t before I left. It was just a place where mail and laundry piled up while I rushed from home to gym to office to galleries to whatever la-di-da functions I “covered” for the paper from night to night. Now it’s time to make it a place where I can stand to spend time.

I’ve also gone to my first art events — Laura Lark‘s opening Saturday afternoon, a lecture at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art that night — where I received little, if any, of the scarlet-letter treatment. It may be partly that, as my ex told me, some people think the last two-and-a-half months have been a hoax, which, come to think of it, many people also thought when I first entered the loony bin. But more than that, people want a return to routine; having avoided reading my art coverage when I was at the Houston Chronicle, they want to know where they can avoid reading it now.

It won’t be at the Chronicle, whose editors understandably don’t want any help — even freelance — from me, and don’t seem to want it from anyone. Why should they? They’re not feeling any pressure to bring art writing back, though they have felt compelled — surprise, surprise — to add more executive layers, in keeping with standard Hearst operating procedure: Cut journalists; add bureaucrats. (A Hearst corollary: Continually shrink the paper; continually jack up the price.)

Still, I’ve been working on a couple of freelance writing gigs, which combined pay what a one-hour appointment with a client pays. And I’m holding out a sliver of hope that whatever notoriety an upcoming Texas Monthly story on The Art Guys/Menil Collection tree-acquisition brouhaha generates will lead to my connecting with someone willing to take some kind of chance on me and the wherewithal to throw some non-escorting work my way. But in the meantime, it’s pretty clear which of my marketable skills the market values, and it ain’t art writing.

Among the people I ran into Saturday was Menil curator Toby Kamps. Our exchange was cordial; I didn’t ask if the museum is at work on acquiring this Jack in the Box commercial, which would now fit into its collection all too well:

As you may have heard, a Washington legislator cited the commercial in support of his opposition to marriage equality. Expect it to come up again during the inevitable referendum to overturn yesterday’s vote.

2 Responses to “Honey, I’m home. Let’s get divorced.”

  1. Heidi February 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    I sent the last message before finding this one. I’m so glad your trip ended so differently than that other one. Best wishes

  2. HJ BOTT February 15, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Welcome back, Devon, for all the good times the various Houston scenes can provide.
    Sorry that marriage is not for you as it does wonders for some of us.
    HJB

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