I had by chance seen the latest MoFAH Rothko Retrospective held earlier that same year. I did not disclose this to my line companion, I hadn’t any true enough beliefs about the matter to engage him in the conversation, and our time was running short anyway before we stepped into the first of Kusama’s two exhibits, Love is Calling, which I knew I would walk out of in tact and decompress alongside my sister, but did not share that same object permanence for the conversation between line companion and I; but I digress.
I had happened to go and view the recent Rothko retrospective, with additional audio tour for a measly five bucks. I went alone, because Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity is a far easier sell than Untitled (Red, Blue, Orange).
I went and sat staring at a Rothko while the tour played for me Concerto in A Major for Clarinet and Orchestra, K. 622, and for a second I sat and stared at the same piece of canvas Rothko must have found himself staring at, listening to Concerto in A like he listened to every morning, perhaps sipping coffee black and wondering if today would be the day, that day when validation finally usurped the slowly creeping sense of unfulfillment.
Perhaps I read too much into Rothko’s suicide, but I can’t imagine it a common affliction among the self-satisfied.
I went to the Rothko Retrospective and took a piece of him home with me, stole the song he hummed himself midst working and thought silently on Vonnegut:
“To become your heroes, do not only read your heroes; you must read your hero’s heroes.”