I have taken the bus to George’s place, a self-sufficient set of rooms in an old building with high ceilings and interesting neighbors.
The bus line is a mix of people who wear business suits and expensive shoes and people who wear striped socks and miniskirts, ironically tragic velour tracksuits and Rasta hats.
I stare, absentmindedly, at Rasta Mon, thinking about how much I would like a nap. I do not realize how much I have been staring at him until he de-buses, but not before slipping me his phone number.
George greets me at the door, leads me to her rooms.
She has been using the lid of a giant tub of laundry detergent as a palette, multiple blues, whites, black and red daubs of dried oil paints have dried in excited, creationist splotches. I push aside a sweater, take a seat.
George has been creating moods.
“What’s going on here?” I say.
George raises her eyebrows.
“The one on the left looks submissive,” I say.
George nods. “And perhaps a bit accepting, right? Like this is something she’s known all along.”
“Well, look at her,” I say. “The chick in red, she’s won; and somewhere along the line, the one in the tank top always knew she would.”
George tilts her head to one side, scrutinizes the painting.
“Are they a couple?” I ask.
George shrugs. “I don’t know,” she says, finally. “Red Dress seems to be kind of possessive of her. Makes ya wonder.”
I squint at George. “You didn’t know if they were a couple when you started painting?”
George shakes her head. “I start out with an idea, but I can’t control where it goes sometimes, you know?”
“But what’s it all mean?”
She shakes her head again. “I’m not sure yet.”
“That happens to me,” I say. “I start writing something, and where it ends is rarely how I thought it would.”
“That’s interesting,” George says. “I would think that someone who works with words would have some sort of control over them.”
I laugh. “And I would think someone who works with oil paints would be using something other than the lid of a detergent bucket as a palette.”
George shakes her head. “Sometimes,” she says, “I wonder if I’ll ever be fully self-aware.”
I nod. “I know exactly what you’re saying.”