She watched him, silently, curled up on the couch at the back of the studio under her coat and his. He scrolled paint across the canvas with a kind of abandon. Colors, clashing. Brush strokes, crossing. A form taking shape that was pure emotion. She felt the innocent voyeur. His concentration was intense. His whole being seemed enthralled. Had he forgotten she was there? How long had she slept? She looked around for a clock, afraid if she reached for her purse and her phone, she would somehow disrupt something sacred.
Their date earlier that night had been a bust. He tried too hard to be gracious; too hard to seem like what they were doing was fun. She tried too hard to seem all sunlight and happiness. The place they finally settled on for dinner, after nearly 30 minutes of awkward negotiation, had a 45-minute wait for a table and a bar with standing room only. The place down the block was no better. Since they were (sort of) in the neighborhood, they agreed, I-mean-what-the-hell, to walk the 6 or 7 blocks to the jazz club, painfully insipid small talk for conversation along the way, only to find when they arrived that it was a reserve-in-advance venue with an act that had been sold out for months. He walked over to a scalper pacing in the shadows. She stopped him.
“Look,” she said, as reassuringly as she could with out sounding disappointed, “The evening’s shot. Right?”
He laughed with a look of defeat and embarrassment. Her heart sank.
“No, no! Seriously! OK. You said you have a studio? Nearby? Right?”
He hesitated. “No. I mean, yes, but not around here…I mean …”
“Let’s grab something at the bodega over there,” she said pointing across the street, “head over to your studio.”
He laughed the same embarrassed laugh.
“C’mon! How many girls actually ask you to show them ‘some of my paintings,’ or however that old line goes?”
Prompts are: sacred ground; talk deep into the night; the evening’s shot
I owe ya one, so…