Girl with a Golden Gun
I bought this painting in the early 2000s shortly after arriving in San Francisco. Named “The Girl with a Golden Gun” I adore this piece and hang it fittingly I think with my Dia de los Muertos collection. Whenever a guest comments on the painting I tell them what I remember about the artist: “It is painted by the same man who created the Cap’n Crunch character.” Google offers no confirmation and its likely I was very drunk that night, but nevertheless it is a pleasant anecdote I enjoy repeating.*
I bought this painting because like any creative purchase, I saw myself in it. I was new to SF, single and alone a lot. I lived in the Tenderloin and more specifically in a ground floor apartment on the corner of Heroin and Blow Job. Unfortunately I was an IT Manager and not Hunter S. Thompson, so I could not fully appreciate the 3am free enterprise system flourishing outside my front door. It felt like any moment someone would get the bright idea that any of my many windows (“Great light!” the agent said.) would offer a satisfying smash-and-grab. So I did what police tell you not to do, I slept with a knife under my mattress. A big one, kept on the right side, handle at the precise position for the most efficient grab. Had I access to a gun, golden or otherwise, I would have used that. I prefer to be clean.
“The Girl with a Golden Gun” reminds me of those single days, of putting myself out there again and again and taking chances. When I see her now I am grateful that my bed is warm, that my husband is near and my family is safe in one another.
Sleep well little girl.
*UPDATE: The artist is Mark Z-Man and here is the actual story behind this painting: “I met a woman in SF in a yoga class. We started going out. She told me she kept a gun under her pillow. One night she had me over, sure enough, there it was. I said, do you mind taking the gun out while I’m sleeping here? She did. The golden gun was part of what I imagined. ” So really nothing to do with Cap’n Crunch. Whatsoever.