Chapter 46:

XLVI | Some Jerk

Something's Not Right

The painting
of Tammie by memory

is just the canvas
in hot pink.

(Meaning it's a failure.)

She didn't even

look human

no matter how many times
I painted over.

Tammie wanted to see

what else
I've painted

when the day's over

so I lied
and said
I was painting feelings.

She examined
the bright pink canvas,

her eyes
an inch from

where the deformed


She smiled apologetically,
no comment

about my lie.

I like your paintings.

because of that sentence,


because Tammie won't let me
watch her practice,

I drag the easel

to the main hall everyday

and search for things to paint.

Eyes watch
from their armchairs

as I set up

my workspace again—
by the wrought-iron window today.

New canvas,
borrowed stool.

I line the bottles of paint
between the easel's feet.

Dipping my brush into black paint,

coughs behind me.

The small boy with the plastic ear.

It's obviously
a fake cough.

What do you want?

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