Kurt Vonnegut compares love making to the process of making an abstract expressionist painting.

Kurt Vonnegut compares love making to the process of making an abstract expressionist painting.

Our brainless lovemaking anticipated Abstract Expressionism in a way, since it was about absolutely nothing but itself. Yes, and I am reminded now of what the painter Jim Brooks said to me about how he operated, about how all the Abstract Expressionists operated: “I lay on the first stroke of color. After that, the canvas has to do at least half the work.” The canvas, if things were going well, would, after that first stroke, begin suggesting or even demanding that he do this or that. In Marilee’s and my case, the first stroke was a kiss just inside the front door, a big, wet, hot, hilariously smeary thing.

Talk about paint!

• • •

Marilee’s and my canvas, so to speak, called for more and wetter kisses, and then a groping, goosey, swooning tango up the spiral staircase and through the grand dining room. We knocked over a chair, which we set up-right again. The canvas, doing all the work and not just half of it, sent us through the butler’s pantry and into an unused storage room about eight feet square. The only thing in there was a broken-down sofa which must have been left by the previous owners. There was one tiny window, looking northward, into the leafless treetops of the back garden. We needed no further instructions from the canvas as to what to do, should we wish to complete a masterpiece. This we did.

Nor did I need instructions from the experienced older woman as to what to do. Bull’s-eye and bull’s-eye and bull’s-eye again! And it was so retroactive! This was something I had been doing all my life! It was so prospective, too! I would be doing one hell of a lot of this for the rest of my life. And so I did. Except that it would never be that good again. Never again would the canvas of life, so to speak, help me and a partner create a sexual masterpiece. 

Vonnegut, Kurt (2009-10-10). Bluebeard: A Novel (Delta Fiction) (pp. 181-182). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.