I’ve had some doozies of lucid dreams in my time. But, about six months ago, I had the most extreme case. ****Spoiler alert John Haley Bellamy is one of the Deans of 19th century American Shipscarving ( IMHO). Dali is my favorite Surrealist and habitue of New York while I was growing up. I had always wondered what would happen if Dali and Bellamy ran into each other. So – A Surreal Dream.
I was sitting in my usual spot at the Rienzi coffeehouse in Greenwich Village, joining me that night was John Haley Bellamy. John was down from Kittery for his first trip to the Big Apple. He wanted me to fill him in on who the local shipscarvers were, when the best time to visit the Empire State Building was, and directions to Guggenheim. We were pouring over one of those little accordion maps of the city that hotels give you when in walks Salvador Dali. Dali siddles up and starts praising Bellamy for being a proto- Surrealist. “My only dispute with you comes in the calculation of spirals and curves you use; I’ve always preferred logarithmic spirals; you, on the other hand, use something that looks like it’s part of an ellipse? Bellamy, admiring Sal’s logarithmically twined mustachios, takes time to twirl his mustache ends into a number seven Copenhagen curve and replies, ” I started in a boat shop, so I used ships curves.” They happily spent the next ten minutes, discussing how you can simplify for emphasis, stretch proportions, and play with conventions. For once, I was without words.
After an hour or so, Dali mentioned that he’d pick up the check. He and Bellamy wandered out onto McDougal Street. Dali suggested they head to Paris, and visit. Pablo – “Not really a Surrealist, but an interesting artist…”
Pondering my next move, I notice the signed credit card receipt with one of Dali’s idiosincratic scrawls- I quickly pocketed it and walk out with a signed Dali.