Short Fiction: A Clean Slate

I laid my cobalt parudessus next my arid rolly. Another intransigent discussion with my lover. He’s stormed out into the roily and rutted Paris rues. Perhaps heading to rue St. Georges. Do I care? Oui. Me, just a bit of rejectamenta. I am no Lise! I am no Diana. Diana the huntress, I am no Huntress. Yet surely we are all hunting for love. He has found his. He caresses his brushes more tenderly then me surely. The intimacy with your subjects your connection with color, I see it. You give yourself so freely and evacuate your sexual energy in frissons of color. Your love effervesces from your hands, from your essence creating hues superior to natures. Yet, how natural your subjects’ fusion with the very same nature. I head to the kitchen and make my self a cup of tea. Perhaps I’ll lace it with laudanum. Oui, if there is any to be had for me. You are morsel, I tell myself. What kind of girl at twenty-seven traipses about with a popsy companion from Bordeaux to Rome? That’s what Augustus would say, “You haven’t the constitution for such a physical adventure.” I can hear him now echoing dear mother. Oh Augusta how I do miss your guiding spirit.  

The kettle blows steam and whistles an impatient tune. I pick it up and scald my hand. I need a buffer. That is what I need. Indeed, a buffer! The water sloshes into the porcelain, over the leaves they swirl and color the water immediately staining it brown. I look into the leaves for answers. The steam only billows into my face as I exhale. Soi-disant that is what you are. The Slade is no match for the École. I am no master. You could teach me. I can remain your muse and lover. I can’t bear the rejection, no! Perhaps, I should toss my self from a barbican. That would make a bloody splash in Le Figaro.  Then my fame may taint yours. Top yours, Ha! No, perhaps not. Perhaps I can go more humbly….just a sharp razor quickly across the wrist.

No. I should have stopped in Asnières. I should have stayed in Toulousse. Dorelia oh you were always so much independent than I, your love flows freely, unbounded. Mine so perfect, so precise. So controlled. My brushes, my hand, do the same. Yet the recognition eludes me. The female… Ah she is so frail. No match for the masculine essence that pours out onto the canvas, or that wroughts the forms from alabaster or marble. Bronze to wily for the feminine hand to wield. That masculine ejaculation has no parallel. Oh Dorelia! So much more open to the ménage a trios. The acquiescence to a single soul, this is the trouble with me! Oh fie! The attachment so strong, that is my weakness I ‘spose. Maybe it is the trouble of the middle. Yes, it’s the mediocrity of the middle child that curses a soul. The filtered sunlight seeps through the kitchen window, revealing spots and imperfections on my hands and paint grimed in my nail-beds. The light shows the worn edges of the table and the thousand tiny fractures of the tea-cup. I turn my face to the unnatural radiance and catch a quick glimpse of the deep creases around my eyes. Entropy that is what it is. All is moving toward disintegration. Perhaps I could walk to the Seine this very eve when it is black and misty— and sink my self into oblivion. I could have been the bijou, the little smudgy treasure— glossy unctuous oils stroked tenderly on your canvas. No! I am as fragile as the medium you first imparted your creations on. I am bone china.

He is the aesthete, consorting with the fellows on Montmartre and the Salon. Burning through muses as one does a book of matches on a blustery night. I am no match for an arriviste. Your palette effulgent, gleaming and bright dovetails your esteem. My interior reflections shaded over by the dim rooms I choose to dwell. The light without follows me not. The external is not where I dwell. The internal light is dim, but examined.  I take a sip of the tea, sweet now on the tip of my tongue. I swallow. I pick up my pen. I put it to clean crisp white sheets of paper. Farewell, my love. Farewell, Paris. I am moving to Muedon.