Search and Recovery

The Kennedy Dialogues

Skater two: "Yeah, but I think if they never find the bodies, you'd go twice as insane."

8 A.M., Monday, July 19, N. Moore Street, two artists, longtime Tribeca residents, outside residence of late John F. Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.

Artist one: "How are you? I'm so embarrassed, but I had to come."

Artist two: "I don't even know why I'm here. Well, okay, I was watching the whole thing every minute all weekend and I was out getting coffee this morning at Bubby's and I just like had to stop by to see if the flower tribute thing was going to happen."

Artist one: "You know, it's so strange. I happened to be in London when Princess Diana was killed and there's no possible way to describe that image of this wall of stuffed animals and balloons and rotting flowers in plastic wrapping."

Artist two: "The Jeff Koons memorial grief carpet."

Artist one: "Right, right. Jeff Koons by way of, like, Mike Kelley. Or maybe Jason Rhoades."

Artist two: "You know, a woman jumped out the window of a building where I lived once, and the next day someone had drawn a chalk circle on the sidewalk and put candles and flowers inside. It spooked me but I kind of got it. Someone had died there and someone else immediately hallowed the spot."

Artist one: "You need that. You need some kind of primitive gesture. All this talk about stoicism is so sick in a way. I kind of want to see just one Kennedy fall on the ground and scream and rend their garments or something. I mean, what about Irish wakes, where everyone climbs on the table and hugs the corpse?"

Artist two: "It's about class, I guess."

Artist one: "Yeah, fucked-up upper class puritanism. In this culture, all you get to mark death is pictures of a blank fence in Hyannis Port and a 24-hour news feed with live coverage of the waves."

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