She walked through halls of paintings leaning against walls. The casualty of their placement gave her permission to run her fingers along the canvas, feel the lumps of paint, the strokes of another person’s vision. Pausing to circle images with her fingertips and stare into the eyes of the muse, she relaxed her shoulders and thought perhaps she too should try leaning against the wall, rather than hanging herself.
Maybe he scribbles on his arms because mummy and daddy are covered in scribble. Maybe he does it because it tickles as the tips run along his soft, bare skin. Maybe, just maybe, he does it because he keeps being told to draw on paper, and paper is just a flat, boring surface that doesn’t tickle and doesn’t look like mummy and daddy. Either way, it’s a step up from drawing on all the walls.
I can think of far worse things to trouble myself over.
For example, flies in my wine.
She wrote with her soul disguised as her ego. Her truths rolled out cloaked in rubber, bouncing pleasantly off people’s judgements. Had she’d been brave enough, her soul might have said ‘I’m crying’.
Instead of smiling.
But she wasn’t brave.
She wrote about another half: baked in chardonnay and smooth tunes.
She wrote about another half: full to the brim of ideas and opportunity, colours and numbers.
She wrote about another half that never bothered to write about her.
She stopped writing.
He thought she was a disco ball: a spinning beauty.
He waited for her to turn to him.
She moved paint around the canvas the way a toddler moves spaghetti around it’s cheekbones; instinctively sloppy. She flicked matches as she danced, lighting small fires under the feet of others; burning up the beats. She performed on street corners, to the applause of none. She wrote, perhaps to her own self-destruction.
She exposed herself honestly, creatively.
That alone, made her an artist.
She carried the weight of the world on her shoulders so he carried her in his arms. Weightless in his embrace, she had the strength to kiss his lips: he too became weightless.
She scratched at the sting on her shoulder, the gnawing at her neck, it inched itself closer to her ear lobe as she swatted it away flippantly with the back of her hand. It tried again: landing on her clavicle, sliding down her cleavage trying to seep through the skin and fast track to the heart. She dusted off the tickle with the tips of her fingers and rolling eyes.
So it disappeared:
Her big idea.