“I wish I had a bronze statue of your butt,” Nate told me a couple of months ago. “With a plaque: Becca’s butt, age thirty two.” Careful what you ask for, Nate.
Bronze was outside the scope of my budget, so I used Sculptamold.
“How would you make a casting of an, uh, torso?” I asked the art store guy. He suggested painting on latex, then supporting it with plaster. He stressed the importance of thorough Vaseline. You have hairs you’ve never even noticed, he warned. I enlisted my friend Brigid, an artist who has seen my rear end plenty of times at the ladies’ spa. She coated me up in latex like some sci-fi movie heroine.
“It’s like I’m just making art,” she said, “but then I remember, it’s your butt.”
Hours went by. But the latex wouldn’t dry. It kept, well, cracking. I worried about the efficacy of my vaseline. Brigid got out the blowdryer. Squinchy looked on, confused. He never has understood fine art. Finally, we thought it was dry enough. She put on the plaster casting. But when she peeled it off, the latex came off in shreds, dissolved by the moisture in the plaster. Now I was the sci-fi swamp monster. Hours of lying very still while someone painted my butt with tropical tree sap were wasted. And somehow I had to get all those shreds off of myself. I was rightly worried about the vaseline.
However, the plaster cast was good on its own. I loaded it up with sculptamold and voila — there was a statue of my rear. Very white and kind of pockmarked, but still totally my butt.
“You’re going to love your birthday present,” I told Nate. “But it isn’t ready yet.”
“Is it a puppy?”
Days went by. It still was not dry completely. I stuck it in the oven on warm for a few hours, then wrapped it in a couple of towels and drove it over to Nate’s.
When Nate unwrapped it, the statue was steaming.
“This is an amazing present,” said Nate, with deep sincerity. Yep Nate, it’s a benevolent universe.
I told my brother about it, and he thought Nate and I should each make one yearly, and line our basement with them. That’s an idea, Aidan, but forget the basement. Nate wants to hang it on his wall. Though for now it’s on an oven rack on his table, still drying.