Posted by: Vicky V | May 15, 2009

Nuclear Power reactor

I’m used to women eyeballing Marcus. It doesn’t threaten me, I’m the one dating him, and besides he never seems to be aware of predatory stares. Apart from on one occasion when one woman couldn’t take her eyes off him and he even then he just said “I’m sorry, do I know you from the fruit market?”

You see, it’s not just that he looks a little bit like Olivier Martinez with his dark eyes, soaring height and good taste in indigo denim. He is obsessed with his creative world (currently fruit) so when he’s staring into the middle distance imagining how to pair a banana and a cumquat in a tribal love dance, it’s easy just to stare at his cheekbones or manly breadth.

I first met Marcus at a gallery opening near Old Street a year ago, when I was still working in arts fundraising. He was looking at a painting of a black sun setting in a black sky over a black field (the artist chose to re-title it when he dropped the sculpture of a poodle which was supposed to sit atop the black canvas, down a drain outside the gallery while he was unloading). I remember that moment like one of those gallery scenes in the film “Closer” or “The Devil Wears Prada” where Natalie Portman or Anne Hathaway meet devastatingly sexy-yet-bad-for-them men amidst ten foot tall black and white photographs.

In reality, it was a small room about half the size of a tennis court with bad lighting and m & s quiche, exhibiting the work of an artist so nervous he’d managed to lose or destroy most of his best pieces en route to the gallery.

We’d then had an exhilarating six months of discovering the ocakbasis and canals of East London while passionately discussing plans and arguing loudly. I didn’t understand a lot of what he said but that didn’t matter because it was a challenge to be unpicked, a new language to be learnt and, besides, his passion and motivation were contagious. During those heady months I got more and more involved in the art world as his plans for artistic domination were formed.

Then last Autumn he started to run out of money at about the same time as the rest of the world and, unable to pay the rent on his east London warehouse, he moved into my one bedroom flat. Hot passionate debate gave way to luke warm bickering as I’d promised myself not to argue and suddenly the springtime warmth is really making those fruit sculptures stink.

Flash forward to the end of Wednesday’s date and I was left as cold as a cuttlefish washed up on the shores of Dungeoness in the shadow of their famous nuclear power reactor.

Firstly he apologized for being so moody these past few weeks but he’d been having real problems getting to grips with his next fruit salad montage.

And here was I thinking he’d been sulking about my passionate outburst at the London Marathon

But that he’d found an amazing artist’s collective in Dalston who were really supportive and who really understood where he was coming from as an artist and that he’d really made a breakthrough. Oh, and that while we were on the subject he’d found my gift of frozen fruits really rather offensive and counter productive.

Oh. I thought I was being witty.

And that, besides, I’d seemed so preoccupied with my new job and not very engaged in his work of late.

Now that, is extremely selfish of me.

And could I lend him forty quid for some new paintbrushes?

Dear Dungeoness, can you tell me how to make a nuclear explosion? I think my boyfriend needs to know how loud and bright they are.

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