I went for a barbecue this afternoon, which was held on the patio which I helped to build
. Seeing all those people standing firmly on some stones rather than floundering around in uneven mud made all the sweat and tears (actually I didn't cry once during the construction if truth be told- I sweated loads though) worthwhile. And good to see that despite my involvement the patio has not fallen down or spontaneously combusted, even after almost two long years. I think I know how Michelangelo must have felt when staring up at the roof of the Sistine Chapel, thinking "I did that!"
And without hyperbole I think I can say that Mackay's patio is a billion times better and more valuable than that rubbish ceiling. At the very least I can claim that the thing I created has already had more people standing on it. I think that is the main criterion for judging a work of art.
I have achieved little or nothing in the subsequent two years, whilst Mackay has helped produce a human child (though if my sums are correct, he'd already done his main bit of work on that whilst we were lugging around stone and cement). She's now 18 months old and walking on the very patio herself.
Yet I am prouder of my patio. It is forged from stone and sand and will thus last longer than this child who is crafted in fragile flesh.... unless Mackay sells his house and the next owners decide that the patio is rubbish and smash it up with hammers. Hmmmmm.
Diane chose to mock me, claiming that I had only lain one actual slab (which she insisted on looking at, in what I would call a sarcastic fashion). I explained that I had actual lain almost five slabs, that the one we were looking at was merely the largest one, but she would not listen, feeling that my pride in my achievement was not justified given how little I had actually done.
Yet how many slabs has she lain on this patio, I wonder? (Actually I know, it is none)
And if those few slabs were missing then guests and tiny children would have kept tripping over in the gap and getting mud on them and stuff. So in a way those slabs were more important than the others.
Anyway, Mackay made me eat half cooked meat and I inadvisedly drank some whisky and I stod chatting with some people that I have known for twenty years, knowing that my patio would outlast most of them, especially if I make sure that I buy the house when Mackay moves on. Then I will open it as a living museum to my work. The house will merely be a gift shop, Mackay's bedroom will be the toilet. And the slab (s) that I laid will be coated in gold with an etching of my beautiful face on them.
You think I am joking?
I will make this happen.
And I will put a gigantic statue of myself overlooking the art work emblazoned with the words, "Look on my works, ye mighty and despair!"
I am sure that people will.