Tuesday, April 9

Came For White And Bled For Red

‘AND NOW, LADIES & gentlemen, I am going to draw… a shark catching a seal and both of them are flying out of the water and into the air.’
The young man made a grand gesture, raising his hands above his head. He was stood before the window, looking out over a garden of tended lawn and flowerbeds; over the small stream of baby’s dribble where in the distance a vast quilt of fields and meadows bubbled under a looping shadow of clouds; or, maybe, he wasn’t looking, just seeing. He breathed in deeply, puffing out his chest that was small and quite weak and had barely any hairs on, then he hawed onto the glass and watched a cloud of condensation form in a square-shape that was not quite a square-shape. He immediately set to work very quickly; his fingers moving as lighting under a storm, flicks scarcely touching the glass, but measured and precise because he was a master.
Very quickly on the glass was a great white shark catching a seal in mid-air. It was a very accurate representation. Just as he had time to admire the beautiful & inspired piece of work – oh, it was beautiful & inspired! – the image faded before his eyes. He slumped down on the edge of his bed. Useless! His head was pushed into his hand and he exhaled a mighty sigh to let the world know how unhappy he was with it.
‘And now, ladies & gentlemen!’ he rose – ‘I am going to draw – before your very eyes! – a tediously slow waterfall from South America!’ He went to the window and inhaled deeply once more.
At that moment there was a knock at the door.
‘Who could that be?’ He asked aloud. ‘Who could that be?’ He went over to the door, letting out his breath as he walked and, frankly, under a furrowed brow, a little angry to be disturbed at such a moment. He thought of all the people waiting to see him draw a tediously slow waterfall from South America.
She quickly entered the room. Before the young man had opened the door properly she was walking on his floor and studying all of his things; picking them up and turning them in her hand; casting a careful eye on all his possessions. Her white body was very white in the light that shone through the window; the white light that made it past the scenery over yonder and chose his room, of all places, to lie down and rest.
‘Excuse me!’ he said, feeling most intruded upon. ‘I said, excuse me!’
‘Don’t you tire of drawing in condensation?’ she asked.
‘That’s neither here nor there. What are you doing in my room? This is a personal space.’ She was naked, though quite obliviously, with not a mark on her – except for an inexplicable scratch on her right hand that looked as if it may have been inflicted by a cat, though a cat had nothing to do with it – and was arresting enough for the young man to consider drawing.
‘I heard about your silly drawings –’ she scoffed slightly – ‘And thought that you might prefer paint.’ She handed him a tube of yellow paint and a paintbrush.
He was shocked, the young man. He was taken aback because he had never seen paint before, certainly not yellow paint, though it reminded him of the summer afternoon sun that made it past the scenery over yonder and chose his room, of all places, to lie down and rest.
With the speed she had entered, the strange young woman left. The young man – his hands now holding a tube of yellow paint and a brush – watched her go and his quivering lips tried to feel out a name for her as his eyes took her in.
‘And now, ladies & gentlemen, I am going to draw a strange young woman!’ From memory he set about painting her on his wide-open white walls. It was different to paint on walls, instead of the window, but he soon got used to it after he had drawn her a half-dozen times. From memory, always from memory. He did not tire of painting her in yellow paint. He enjoyed it. She was a new subject to him so he could draw her over & over and it felt fresh and his love for drawing was renewed.
When he woke in the morning his room was bright with yellow paint. He sat up, stretched, took a cigarette in bed then got back to work, painting her again & again. Very soon he was running out of blank wall. Disaster! He frowned and looked at his paintbrush, which looked very tired, and he realised that he was tired, too, of yellow paint. It did not matter. So he painted her on the window. He painted her twenty-six times on the window. Depictions of her in yellow filled the window.
Then he was utterly tired of yellow paint and he was quickly running out.
He returned to old paintings of her on his wall – his bedroom was only very small and there were drips of paint on the wooden floor – and thought he would add other colours. He masturbated into his palm for some white paint and then he cut down the length of his right index finger for some red paint. That worked perfectly. He went around adding detail to each figure of her.
The next morning he woke up and saw that the come had disappeared and the blood had turned a dark brown. Not only that, but his whole bedroom was bright yellow and it hurt his eyes to open them. He could not escape the bright yellow. He cursed her over & over. There was the thick stench of paint fumes and stale come and the rotting metallic smell of blood. He felt sick, like he would throw up his entire digestive system. He collapsed back onto his bed and cried out for some relief though none came. He struggled to open his eyes but they were hurt by the overpowering yellow paint, and the various smells made him nauseous.
There was nothing left for him. He unscrewed the cap of the yellow paint and took out his brush. He masturbated a cupful of come and he bled out the end of a trembling arm. Then he started working on another painting of her, the same three colours, over & over, making him feel sicker than he had before. Soon the yellow paint might run out, leaving him with only come and blood.

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