Wyeth, 8th - Los Angles, CA
The man gently sits himself down before the easel; the stool creaking below him. His all-black funeral garments are itchy, but he doesn’t shed them yet. Instead, he allows for the lingering scent of sadness clinging to the cloth to send his mind into a sort of psychedelia.
All his brain can see through the shades of black and blue is his face, the face of his father, the banker; who now sleeps six feet under the ground, who always used the pretentious spelling of his last name. Augustin de Gas - what a very grand name for only a moderately wealthy man. His father, the banker; how he dreamt for him, his eldest - Augustin had five children, yet none could ever compare to Edgar, the oldest, Edgar, the lawyer - because remember, you must be a lawyer, Edgar - Edgar, the boy who made a room in their house into an artist’s studio, the boy who changed his last name to the less pretentious spelling, the boy whose father wanted him to go to law school, the boy who did.
That boy, no longer a boy, is the one who rests on the stool; staring at a blank canvas. He has finished law school - Faculty of Law of the University of Paris, how very grand and pretentious; his father had loved it - and traveled the globe; copying the masters of the Renaissance. Art has always been a hobby - nobody will ever like anything you make, boy - nobody will ever like anything he makes, but now, with his younger brother spiraling into business debt, now, with the family name - De Gas, how very grand and pretentious for a lower upper class family - on the line, now he must sell his house, now he must sell his work, now people must like his work, now they must like his soul etched into paper, now they must like him. Now, in order to preserve his father’s dignity, Edgar - the boy with a man’s face, the man with a boy’s eyes - must do the very thing his father hated.
Paint, boy, he can hear his father whispering from the grave.
And he, the boy who always does what his father asks, paints.
Small, frenzied strokes born out of the blackness of his funeral clothes. Pale pink pastels spilling across the page. Tints pulling a sense of movement - no, not pulling, exploding kinesthesia outward. Little girls in tutus performing for their dance master who leans on a long cane, staring indifferently. One girl, a center girl, twirls and twirls and twirls; around and around and around - the master does not care. But does she?
And he paints.
And he paints.
And, for the first time in a long time, he smiles.
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