Tuesday, March 3, 2015


There he is, oh man think of it. What's he live on? He sure doesn't have a job. I think his brother helps him out. He's really into painting so he paints a lot. Most people don't like him. I wouldn't. His personality is abrasive, sullen, argumentative. He doesn't get my jokes. He's passionate, sure, but let me ask you, where do you put that when you just have errands to run around town, when you're getting dressed, or choosing a loaf of bread (he didn't mean to bark like that at the baker's apprentice)? Where do you put all that feeling when you're trying to get a decent nights sleep? Where do you put that when you're lonely. Sometimes... well, the painting and drawing helps, but it works you up too.

He's sure the paintings are good. His brother, who loves him, says so, and he sells paintings. But he doesn't sell his paintings as nobody exactly wants them. Some people really seem to like them though. He has a friend who is a very great, somewhat famous painter. This friend acts as if he likes his paintings, or maybe respects or admires them. But he never says outright.

The thing is he suspects he might be something like the greatest painter who ever lived. That's wrong isn't it? But is it wrong if it's true? He knows he is just like a crazy person when he thinks this: "I am the greatest painter in the world!" What on earth does that mean anyway? "Yeah, I'm the greatest painter in the world, painting today from a crazy house." He's had a breakdown or two. Anyway, isn't it love that matters?  He loves the sunlight. He loves the air and the color and feel of everything. But has this, has what he's doing, ever been done before, by anyone in all the world?

The strange thing is that he actually is the greatest painter who ever lived. At least him, or Caravaggio, or one of a half dozen people out there through history, depending on how you feel about it. The greatest, whatever that means. He doesn't know what it means and neither do you or I. But maybe someone should tell him that he is the greatest of all time anyway, before it's all too much. Before it's too late.

It is all too much. It is too late, by 125 years. At least for one crucial moment something was too much for him. He shot his way out. Was it knowing? Not knowing? "What is all this I made?" It's hard to be alone. Life happens on the street, a million miles under the stars. Nothing is ever a myth or a legend when it's happening. There are no stories on the ground in real time. It's boring, it's slow, it's beautiful, and it breaks your heart.


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