Untitled photo taken of Gypsy family in Hot Spring, Arkansas by Michael Garlington
Garlington smiles his mad grin, "Or if there was a Tupperware party in there, these are the people you may meet."

[Part IV, in which there is talk of prostitutes, a frozen bull skull, and eight shots of whiskey]

I ran into Michael Garlington three times in the months after his return from China.
I spotted him buying a bunch of eyeballs soaking in a jar of formaldehyde from a taxidermy shop in the Mission. "I saw things in China I shouldn't speak of involving prostitutes and chickens." He was collecting props and decorations for his new show at Fort Mason and was searching for a cow heart. Later in the butcher shop, he mistakenly tried to show off some of the Chinese he learned to the



Japanese guy behind the counter. But even in English, the guy thought he said "head" instead of "heart" and brought out this monster frozen bull skull. Garlington bought it anyway and conned me into driving him home with the meaty carcass melting on my back seat.

Outside his China exhibit, I was trying to park when a descheveled Garlington came out of nowhere and pounded on my side window. "I need your help. I am a very high man. Haven't slept all night. This guy just kept giving me more and more coke. I need you to take me to get my van. But go check out the show. Then come find me in the alley behind Safeway." At 3 p.m., before we made it anywhere, we stopped—at his insistence—at Edinburgh Castle to drink eight hefty shots of Maker's Mark.

The last time, I found him down on Market Street wearing a porkpie hat and trying unsuccessfully to light a broken cigarette. He had a copy of his brand new book, indeed titled Portraits from the Belly of the Whale, clutched in his hands like a proud father. To celebrate, we smashed into a photo booth at a nearby dive bar. "I got this new idea. Gonna throw this nice lunch for some of the homeless down on 6th. Such amazing faces. Give 'em a sandwich and some juice and then take their photos in this nice chair. I'm calling it 'Positively 6th Street'." Before we parted, photo strips in hand he gave me a big hug, "I still want to bury you up to your neck, what's your schedule like?"

***
– Chronicle Books inked a deal to publish his next book, Fairy Tales—Garlington.
– Positively 6th Street opens in May at 111 Minna gallery.
– Portraits from the Belly of the Whale is available at www.rockoutbooks.com/html/books.html.
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