#117: Off-seat

I just now sent to Lee Ka-sing a photo of a page of my Italian-Greek journal from Tuesday, May 5, 1987.  It shows a drawing in ink and blue watercolour of a café chair in Sienna to which I was immediately re-transported by the broken, abstracted chair in the right of his moving photo, Off-seat (which appears to me to be a pun on “offset” or disarranged).  The brokenness seems like the derelictions of memory, its imperfect reconstructions.

My journal entry describes the little café where we are sitting in a window overlooking Sienna’s Piazza del Campo.  According to the journal, “we don’t feel very well, but are going to brazen it out with this entire litre of chianti.”

It’s cold and grey and rainy.  An Englishwoman, I note, sits outside for lunch.  We admire her pluck.  She has soup and lasagne and a bottle of wine.  The waiter hoists an umbrella so the rain won’t dampen her indomitable spirit and spoil her lunch.  After she has finished, we look out to discover that she had left most of the bottle of wine.  She hadn’t consumed more than a single glass of it.

The house chianti is called Cantina del Palio and the label is a photograph of the famous race (horses and riders madly rounding a corner of the slanted square.

We’re off now to visit the cathedral