I am currently sitting in the living room of the famous Will Schaff. We walked in at 4 a.m. a couple days ago and he emerged through the door, visually everything I expected: six feet tall, lanky but very strong-looking in his torn and beaten-to-hell black jeans and button-down shirt, missing buttons replaced with safety pins in that way that is not goth at all, but purely carelessly utilitarian. The second he opens his mouth, to put in a cigarette or to speak, he seems pure hooligan, street punk, I expect frayed-wire car stereos in every corner. His head is still shaved, but with frequent growing patches that make it look like burned-out velvet – he has tried to do it himself. And then we are greeted by the more uniformly fuzzy two dogs and four cats.
The townhouse he shares with a friend is covered with his artwork and it’s amazing. The room in which we slept was wallpapered with his nudes. Frightening and beautiful. Waking up to Will’s nudes, staring from the walls, amputated, all mid-sentence.
Wasn’t as weird or troubling as I thought it might be and I did not have the strange dreams I thought the paintings might inspire. I feel a little weird about taking pictures, but can honestly not resist. The holocaust imagery is everywhere, the shrunken bodies pouring from the mouths and eyes of his characters, the skulls and animal parts rob talked about … and then there’s the accordion sitting in the middle of the room.
I caught him this morning playing accordion to Deep in the AM. Snapped the picture before Will flashed me a raised eyebrow. Tyler would be so pleased.
And the tattoos are alluring, but distant. I feel weird getting too close, assuming that sort of familiarity with someone whose song lyrics I know, but whom I’ve never met before two days ago. When I get a good look, they are Holocaust names, not numbers as rob remembered.
Today Will is arting all over the living room floor and a pet-hair tumbleweed just blew through, dangerously close to the paint and glue. Collages of his piled bodies and amputated bits of Life magazines. Makes me want to make things. Draw more. Will is chastising rob for not drawing more and getting out of practice. Rule #5 – Both of us should draw more.
There are also little rules of the Will house. I love the idiosyncracies of other people’s houses.
1. Keep the bathroom door closed because the eldest cat likes to shit in the shower.
2. The bathroom sink doesn’t work, so teeth brushing is a kitchen sink activity.
3. Add an extra minute to anything you microwave and then stop whatever it is 30 seconds before the end or it will blow a fuse (rob forgot today).
4. Hang up anything of yours that the animals might have seen Will touch or they might pee on it thinking it is his.
5. Don’t bring up Jimmy’s Chicken Shack (rob forgot today).