It was late. As the light turned to blue-black the path was the domain of the slugs and snails, an’ they had business of their own to deal with. The day had held moisture - the sort of humidity that makes you think of Mint Julips, neat bourbon and Tennessee Williams, in the distance the streetcar clanged away. My shirt stuck to my back as I made my way home, and I was glad to get rid of it quickly when I got in.
The haze was low and the rain attacked when it came. The day had built tension, provoking the slamming of doors, the clinking of glasses and the exchanging of words, but the night had begun to cut through the heat. I was ready to head up, to hit the sack, but hadn't dragged my arse from the sofa.
Then I saw it, putting my plate down, the glint of white caught the corner of my eye, and pulled. The canvas was ready - sitting on the easel like a neon light was fizzing overhead. I blinked back to the TV, trying to lose myself in the rhythm of the news. It was no good, I couldn't shake it, so I did the only thing left to do, I gave in.
Standing face to face the brush began to tingle. Quick strokes cut through to reveal the outline. Now the path was set. With no going back I blocked in colours - shaving lines, and started to balance out the whole thing. I couldn't say where this would going, but I knew I had to see it through to the end. Jagged lines contested with curves, colour tones mixed on the palette, then again on the canvas - flighty, and fickle too - didn't take much for one to blend with another if my hand slipped for a second.
The whole game worked itself out, layers and patterns building, until the riddle within a riddle started to make some sense. There was something bothering me though, something that I couldn't put my finger on.
I felt the palette droop, and heard the splash as my brush sunk in the turps. It was enough for tonight - I needed sleep. Maybe tomorrow it would become clear, in the mean time there was something about the chaos, and the unfinished, a beauty only I'd get to see. This was where I lived, where I did my stuff. I stood a moment to take it in, knowing tomorrow I would have to destroy it.