Someone (NOT ME!!!!) managed to make a large greasy mark on the purplish (technical term, forgive me) art paper border of my poster/print of Vue De La Fenetre Tanger by Henri Matisse. It could also be a large saliva mark. It was on the living room floor so the glue could dry (and it could be shut off from the animals), and my nephew sometimes practices trombone in there. I wouldn’t put it past him to have thoughtlessly emptied the contents of his spit valve in such a random fashion as to have left the aforementioned mark. He does have a little container into which he is supposed to empty his spit, but he’s at an awkward adolescent stage and easily could have missed (I’m being generous and not saying, “he usually misses”).

But don’t even get me started about the thoughtless nature of brass players and the copious amounts of saliva that they feel free to toss willy-nilly on the ground, usually DURING performances! I speak of professionals and students training to become professionals. Not only do they get to do warm-ups and tune RIGHT ON STAGE, right before they start AND in between movements, but they feel no compunction whatsoever about dripping their bodily fluids wantonly on the surface nearest to them.

As a singer, not only would people think it was BIZZARE if you did warm-ups on stage at any point before or during a performance, but if you hawked up a bit mucus glob and spat all over the floor they would consider it a major faux pas to say the least. Never mind that the enormous loogy of death might be impeding what would otherwise be transcendent performance; you simply can’t do anything but try to swallow it. Who, in the history of performance practice thought that it would be entirely too complicated for the horn players to have to empty their disgusting juices into a proper container (I’m sure that Tupperware® already makes something perfectly appropriate)???

It was certainly not someone who has had to walk in a poised manner onto a highly-buffed wooden stage in high heels right after a French horn quintet has played. Unbelievably, I DID NOT FALL DOWN, but I was tempted to throw those shoes away into a biohazard container. It was simply REVOLTING – I know not only from the aftermath but because I had to watch them before I went on – you’d think they had some sort of freakin’ salivary disorder. OR, the more likely scenario, they are simply belligerent and uncouth.

But I digress (just the teensiest bit).

To try and camouflage a bit of the Sharpie® and Mr. Clean™ Magic Eraser™ fiasco and to cover up the mysterious greasy/spitty mark, I decided to put a narrow border of contrasting textured paper around the print. I was getting a fairly good result (cutting and laying out the pieces and so forth) until the spray glue became involved. They sell it everywhere, they make it sound as easy as pie, I’ve never heard an expert say, “don’t try this at home,” but spray glue and I are a match made in HELL. I will not take the time to confess all of my indiscretions with this substance, but remember that my previously mentioned “art” learning experience started when I attempted to remove my gluey fingerprints that were impeding the view of the lovely Tangiers sky.

Today I have learned, though I had partially assimilated the embryonic form of this knowledge a few days ago, a few gluey fingerprints in a Matisse “Tanger” sky are much less noticeable than any well-meaning but misguided attempt to repair them. Now, all over the specially textured “bone” coloured border there are gluey, bloody fingerprints. I don’t even want to try to explain. Here it is as a simple equation. I’m sure you can figure out the rest.