Exhibition Object Label

In the Afflict the Comfortable exhibition, June 27 - October 4, 2015, Sparks was paired with the following words by Amy Hempel:

No one has ever told me that I am good with children. A short time ago, I went to a dinner party. The hostess was setting the table — there were eight of us that night — when her daughter, barefoot seven-year-old, demanded we play the game.

I had not played the game before. You had to build a tower out of narrow cross-placed pieces of wood, then pull away the pieces one at a time without making the tower collapse.

I am not good at games, and the girl was sure of her moves. Yet somehow I was good at this, and when the girl removed the piece that made the tower fall, she ran to her mother screaming, “I didn’t lose!”

A psychic has told me I will have two children. This makes me shake my head. Picture it: I know you are not supposed to leave a baby alone. Not even for a minute. But after a while I would think, What could happen to a baby in the time it would take for me to run to the corner for a cappuccino to go? So I do it, I run to the corner and get the cappuccino. And then think how close the store is that is having the sale on leather gloves. Really, I think, it is only a couple of blocks. So I go to the store and I buy the gloves. And it hits me — how long it has been since I have gone to a movie. A matinee! So I do that, too. I go to a movie. And when I come out of the theatre, it occurs to me that it has been years since I have been to Paris. Years. So I go to Paris, and come back three months later and find a skeleton in the crib.

— Amy Hempel

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