What began as curiosity, and boredom (and lack of artistic inspiration), has now, somehow, become just as important as the work itself, as I begin to see patterns, to find things so unusual they are like pieces in a puzzle, evidence of transgressions hidden from human history. I’ve become absorbed, forgetting where I am and what I’m supposed to be doing, and time passes, forgotten, around me. I must look crazy, sitting there surrounded by my own little stacks and piles, breathing in shallow gasps, hair hanging in my face, licking my lips feverishly. I’ve found some odd things tucked in amongst the stacks of musty newspapers and sales receipts. Creepy things. A lock of blond hair taped to a plain cardboard sheet, “Daddy’s little girl,” scrawled shakily beneath the straggling strands. A wooden box carved with some sort of animal with a long body and tiny pointed teeth, a single yellowed molar rattling around inside. A balled up t-shirt stained with blood. A page ripped from a book with colored illustrations of insects. A small card with the words “Is This A Dream?” written on it with a calligraphy quill. A crumpled piece of stationary, still fragrant with perfume, a note begun but never finished: “Dear Mom, The doctors say I may be able to come home soon. They say the air here is doing me some good, but sometimes I wonder. At night I hear things, people talking about me, discussing whether I’m going to live or die. Isn’t that strange? The other day I thought I saw” That was all. The note was dated September 14th, 1944. I found a wooden, handmade advent calendar with little drawers to open for each day in December before Christmas. My grandmother used to get me the ones you can buy at the store made out of cardboard with the chocolates inside when I was a kid. Each compartment on the wooden one I found was stuffed with a different kind of animal hair, red like a fox’s, or brown and coarse like a bear’s. And I found some words scrawled on the back of a handwritten bill of sale for three dozen eggs and a bottle of bleach in thick pencil: “I’m here/Can you hear me?/Please don’t go/The gnomes on the wallpaper are jeering again/He moves under the floorboards.” The bill of sale was from “Joe’s Market,” undated and unsigned. It feels to me like all these things are somehow connected. It feels like if I look hard enough, I’ll discover their secret. I know it sounds crazy--it’s just a bunch of old junk in a basement. But there’s something here, something beneath the surface. And so I keep exploring the basement, looking through boxes, hoping to find inspiration, a clue to Klimt’s intentions, something about the past owner’s of this house, and where all this might have come from.
Hang on. I have to go. Klimt is here to discuss my progress...