Muse

  Naturemort, which means still life in French, such as those paintings of apples, oranges and dead rabbits. Naturemort, natural death, is cool, right? It’s a word I learned in art history class but didn’t get to use much, like would I say “hey, I saw a great painting of Naturemort the other day”? Won’t.
  I met Elise in art history class. It took me a month to work up the courage to talk to her, she is absolutely gorgeous. I saw her walk through the auditorium, her fair skin glowing under the beams of the projector, and I wasn’t pushy or pretentious, as some of Elise’s friends said, artistic people are always misunderstood, if Some people call me neurotic or crazy because of my artistic nature, and that’s his problem. If I had to describe myself in one word, I would say – sensitive. If you want to understand things like light and color and structure, you have to be very sensitive, right? I mean, that’s what being a painter is all about.
  Go on Elise. After class, I waited to run into her, trying to touch her when she wasn’t looking, but after the third time she noticed.
  ”Hey hey!” she said, squinting those blue eyes like blue in old paintings, lapis lazuli blue, a mineral found in Egypt that medieval painters ground up and used as a pigment, is A very intense, arguably exciting blue. For weeks after that, I imagined running into her again and saying, “You know what, your eyes are the color of lapis lazuli.” Eventually I said it, though I later found out I was wrong.
  Some people call me a dreamer, and I’m fine with that – one has to dream, right? My teacher in high school, Goldblatt, an old lady who smelled of mothballs, said I liked to put on airs. I looked it up and put on a pose: I deliberately put on a tone and posture to attract attention. Like she said, I’m a showman, but I’m definitely not, I’m quiet, shy, polite, just ask my neighbors, some of them are quoted in the papers, and one of them does say so — Oh, he’s a quiet, friendly young man — that’s the only true sentence in the whole article.
  Art history was the only class I took with Elise, she was doing a degree in art education and I was doing a masters in painting, to add I was on a full scholarship because I was penniless Man, though, I’ve recently started making some money thanks to my agent, Frank, an art dealer who specializes in looting paintings of art graduates, looking for really talented students like me, at His trendy Chelsea gallery is on display.
  I know some people think I’m sensitive because of my legs, but it’s not. I have spina bifida, a congenital condition, that is, my spine is not well developed, so I walk with a limp, just a little, not noticeably. I still need to take pain meds because the limp messes with my body and aches all over, but I never complain because what’s the point? Who will listen? So, I don’t have Yushu Linfeng’s appearance, and I’m not an important person, but many girls like me. There was a girl – I don’t remember her name, she had long brown hair, she was very pretty, but she had a mole on her face, she thought that mole was sexy, and used an eyebrow pencil to make it black Yeah, if you ask me, it’s crazy to magnify a flaw like that – she said some girls like me because they have a kind of motherly love for me, which I don’t understand because my mother didn’t even have a motherly love for me, But that’s her problem, right?
  Unlike me, Elise is perfect, well, almost perfect, except for her eyes. I didn’t notice it at first, neither that time in the auditorium, nor even when I ran into her and she said “hey hey”, or when I followed her all the way from class to her apartment. It didn’t show up in the hundreds of photos I took of her because it was too far away. Actually, most people didn’t notice, and neither did I, at first, because she was so beautiful, and she was such a striking person. Like, we’re walking down the street, and guys look at her more—I know, they’re thinking: what’s so special about her? They can’t see my artistic soul, or Elise’s eyes. Actually, it wasn’t a big deal, just a small blemish, a jagged dark brown streak on the white of her left eye, which she called a “blemish.” No big deal, right? but……
  Like once, a few weeks after we were together, Elise showed me an old movie starring Jack Nicholson, the actress whose name I forgot, set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and there’s a scene where Jack was lying on the bed with the actress, just finished making love, and he stared into the actress’s face and said, “Your eyes…” She said, “What’s wrong?” He said, “You have a black spot on your green eye. stuff.” The actress said, “Oh, that’s a blemish on the iris, like a birthmark.” The only reason I could memorize it is because Elise played this clip over and over, lip-syncing The protagonist’s lines, while I looked at her, the light from the TV screen shining on her beautiful face, I kept thinking, how unfair, such a beautiful girl was ruined by this flaw, and before I could react, I blurted out: “You That eye, that blemish, what a pity.” Elise’s expression cooled down, those blue eyes were sharp as knives, and she said, “Like how perfect you are, limping.” Believe me, it’s really Hurts, but I laughed because I didn’t want her to know how sad I was, I apologized to her, said she was beautiful, and she said, “Do you know how many men I can have?” I agree, I am Say, Elise could have any guy she wanted, but she chose me because of my sensitive nature, because I’m an artist, because I adore her, because I think she’s perfect, well, nearly perfect.
  We were together for 8 months and 9 days. During this period, I drew about two to three hundred sketches and oil paintings for her. It can be said that she inspired my creative inspiration. Then one of her stupid best friends said that the only reason Elise likes me is because of the pictures I made for her because she’s vain, and when she told me I told Elise not to hang out with her anymore, she listened take my word for it.
  It took me a while and I ended up getting Elise to drop all her friends because I wanted it to be just the two of us, the artist and the model, and she was my muse. I said, “Honey, I’m going to make you famous, I’m going to make you famous.” It worked out well for her, it’s true.
  I drew all kinds of paintings for her, some wild and unrestrained, some delicate and simple. I painted her life-size on the large canvas and close-ups of her body parts – breasts, legs, arms and hands – on smaller canvases. The more I draw, the more I want her to be perfect, and the more that eye of hers drives me crazy, I keep wondering what she would look like without that nasty blemish.
  Sometimes we’re just sitting around and I look at her, reveling in her beauty, and then I see it, that flaw, and it ruins everything. I mean, would Mona Lisa still be beautiful if she had pimples? So, can I be blamed for what I did?
  I was planning to have a whole Elise show, and I told my agent, Frank, who was in favor. I’ve put a lot of Elise’s drawings on facebook before and I’ve gotten tons of comments and it’s been great to say so much about those paintings and Elise, of course I’ve never shown her in my work flaw.

  Just before that happened, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a cold winter’s day and everything around me seemed cold, gray and lifeless, and the whole city was like a giant still life, so to speak, but I designed this special tour for Elise, which I called “Beautiful Idol”. I started with a carving of Queen Nefertiti of Egypt that was on loan from a museum in Germany, told her the name meant “beauty here” and pointed out how Nefertiti looked Perfect, Elise had heard of the piece but didn’t understand what it meant, I googled it beforehand to make her think I was awesome. Next, I showed her an ancient Greek statue of Aphrodite, so smooth and perfect it made me want to cry. After that, I showed her Courbet’s “Woman and Parrot”, Picasso’s “Marie Therese” portrait, and Warhol’s “Marilyn” painting, and I told her that Marilyn Monroe did Tiny nose and jaw surgeries to perfect herself, subtly instill in Elise ideas about perfection. All that day, I avoided looking Elise in the eye, lest I ruin my perfect trip. When I got home, I told her she was as beautiful as the pictures, still careful not to mention her eyes, and she kissed me, and after all that, Élise lay there naked, eyes closed. I studied her face and every inch of her skin, trying not to notice the few moles and freckles that would ruin everything. It was a perfect moment until she opened her eyes and I saw it and the moment was instantly ruined and I realized, it will always be ruined and that’s it, I can’t take it anymore. I stretched my hands to her neck, she smiled and looked at me until I squeezed hard, she started to struggle, I stared at the blemish on her eyes, my hands tightened, ignoring her screams and ugliness expression until she stops moving.
  Later, her eyes opened and the damn blemish looked bigger and uglier, so I took some super glue and glued her eyelids on, which I once read that funeral homes do, In case the eyes of the deceased are suddenly opened at a funeral, or to prevent bugs from entering, the effect is really good.
  Then I carried her into the studio, laid her on the floor, and spent a while posing her, one arm in this way, the other in that way, and the legs in the same way, as in Ingres’s “Lady des Lasses”. , those paintings are very beautiful, the girls in the paintings are naked, all fours are stretched out, but they are noble, and this is how I want Elise to look.
  I combined whole tubes of rose red, alizarin red, naples yellow and a lot of titanium white and tossed them with linseed oil until I got the exact same color as Elise’s pale complexion. Then, using the widest, softest sable brush I could slowly paint over her skin, her pores soaked up the oil, giving it a beautiful glow that was more than perfect in real life.
  I painted and painted, drank coke and coffee to stay awake, and took oxycodone when my back and legs ached. It took me a long time to paint her full body, adding a little darker color in the shadows and a little lighter color on the collarbone, elbows, knees and ankles. Then, I painted her fingernails and toenails a pearly white, and applied a quick-drying varnish to her hair until the strands seemed sculpted, like sculptures. Then, with a tiny paintbrush, I spent hours painting the most perfect and delicate eyes on Élise’s closed lids: the irises were a deep blue, like modern-day lapis lazuli, The pupils are a warm black, and the whites are a dazzling white, pure, clear, and flawless.
  I took a few steps back and looked at everything in front of me, stunned. Elise is finally perfect.
  I don’t know how much time passed, I must have fallen asleep, and when I woke up, I was hot and sweaty because my small apartment was so hot. I looked at Elise, she was so quiet, so perfect, but I noticed that there seemed to be a bad smell, so I took the perfume Clinique Happy and sprinkled it on her. Then, after a few cups of coffee and a few more painkillers, I couldn’t sit still, and I wanted to show off, so I called my agent, Frank, and asked him to come by. He said he wouldn’t come until the next day, I couldn’t get the time out, day and night seemed to be mixed, so took another pill, drank some coffee, and continued working. I added pink highlights to Elise’s cheeks to make her look instantly paler, and then painted hyper-realistic lashes on her painted eyes, this time with the smallest paintbrush I could find. The ground painting, oil paint and happy perfume produce a sweet and sour taste, which is intoxicating. Next, I took a small piece of wood, sanded it smooth, and wrote “Elise, 2011.” I wanted to put the sign in Elise’s hand like it was part of a sculpture, but I couldn’t move her fingers, they were as stiff as a rock, like a real sculpture, which was cool. I also thought about listing materials, like in a museum, like: paints, varnishes, happy perfume, people. But I didn’t do it because I thought it would take away the charm of the work. By the time Frank arrived, some of the paint had dried and some had cracked, such as the knees, elbows, and a few toes, and I was busy adding linseed oil to the dry spots while he climbed five floors, panting I arrived at my apartment quickly, and before he could catch his breath, I couldn’t wait to show him my work.
  ”You look terrible,” he said, which I believed, having not showered or changed, and Frank noticed my hands were shaking, and I explained that I hadn’t slept all night to finish my new work. I looked at Frank, in black jeans and a black turtleneck, with his jet-black hair combed back neatly and handsome, save for a small scar from a hare lip that he tried to hide with his moustache, but didn’t. Well, I thought, he’d look much better without that scar.
  I stopped thinking about the scar and took him into the bedroom I used as a studio and showed him Elise, “My God,” he said, and stepped closer, “How do you do it? With resin? It’s… so realistic, it reminds me of Duane Hansen’s sculptures,” he said, referring to an artist in the 1960s who created hyperrealistic sculptures of cleaning ladies, security guards and tourists, with The stunning Elise was very different, and I felt insulted, but kept my cool and said, “I made it myself.” Then Frank said, “Ugh, it stinks! I mean it smells, it takes off Or I wouldn’t be able to sell it.” I explained that it was a lot of paint and varnish. Frank said: “Smells like cheap perfume. But it’s amazing, so detailed… those eyes, wow, so… perfect!”
  What happened next made me so happy, it felt real Very good: one of Elise’s eyes opened and closed very quickly, for a second or two, but I saw it, and I must have made some noise, because Frank said, “What is it?” I didn’t Answered, just staring at Elise, her eyes closed now, and I thought, this must be hallucination, I’m so tired I can’t see. Then Frank reached out to touch Elise, and I grabbed his arm hard, and he yelled, “Hey!” I said sorry, explained that the paint might not be dry, and Frank paced back and forth around Elise, rubbing His arm seemed to be in pain, and then I tapped his harelip lightly with my fingers. I began to imagine what he would look like without that scar. My heart beat faster, like running a marathon, although it may be It’s the coke and the coffee, I feel like if he keeps knocking on it, my heart is going to pop out, and while he’s not looking, I grab a palette knife from the paint table, a very sharp knife , hiding behind. Frank said: “I want to get it to the gallery as soon as possible.” For a moment, I completely forgot about his scars, excited to think that Elise will be exhibited in Frank’s gallery, and people keep coming to see it, right here Then the same thing happened—the flawed eye opened and closed again, and Frank just asked, “When will it get to the gallery?” I said, “I—I don’t know. ’ Frank wiped his nose and said, ‘You can’t use that nasty varnish anymore. I looked at Elise, and again, her eyes opened and closed as if blinking at me, and I jumped.

  ”What’s the matter with you today?” Frank asked.
  ”Too much coffee,” I said, beginning to think Frank was playing me, teasing me. From the way he stared at Elise, he must have noticed—the difference between painted eyelashes and real eyelashes, and the flickering of real eyelashes when her eyes opened and closed.
  Frank said, “You’d better cut off the caffeine.” I stared at his lips and gripped the palette knife, but Elise’s eyes blinked slowly like a yawn, and I saw that The brown blemishes got bigger and darker, almost black-purple, and I started shaking.
  ”Maybe you’re sick,” Frank said, taking a step back from me, but still staring at Elise. “Your eyelashes are doing well, but they might need a touch-up. They’re a little faded, like Double layer, do you know where I’m talking about?” He bent down and pointed, “How did you do it, you used false eyelashes in addition to paint?”
  I shook my head, and Elise’s real eyelashes flickered on On the painted eyelashes, I know Frank saw it, must have seen it.
  ”Enough!” I screamed, and Frank froze, “I know you saw it!”
  ”Of course,” he said, “I saw it. It’s a great piece of work and I’ve been following you Said.” He smiled at me, the scar ripping his lips and beard at a weird angle, and I couldn’t take it, I couldn’t take it—his knowing smile, his scar, Elise Those flickering eyes, that blemish that was worse than ever…
  ”Stop teasing me, teasing me! I know you can see it!”
  ”See what?”
  ”Her eyes, her eyes!”
  ”Her eyes!” What’s wrong with the eyes?” Frank frowned, looked at me, then at Elise, “You have to take it easy.”
  Elise’s eyes are wide open now, and the dark purple streak is the only thing I can see Something, I know, and Frank saw it too.
  ”I just want her to be perfect!” I yelled, “You gotta understand! You gotta see this!”
  ”I can see, you need to relax,” Frank said, holding out his hand to me, but I grabbed it and pulled it down so hard that he was inches from Elise’s face, her open eyes.
  ”Look,” I said, “you saw it, you must have seen it, I know you did.” I tried to hold him there, but he struggled, using Elise to free himself, while , his hand slipped from her body, leaving a few marks, he staggered back, stood there for a full minute, staring at his hand, staring at the flesh-colored paint on his fingertips, his whole face twisted, The mouth—the lips—was crooked, too. Then he looked back at Elise and said, “My God…” His scarred lips trembled, and if my hands hadn’t been shaking so much, I might have helped Frank become a better man. ok me, i’ll help him get rid of that scarred lip, but suddenly, i can’t take it anymore, i’m so tired, my back and legs hurt so much, i can barely stand, so i lie down I don’t know how long I stayed next to Elise. Then, the police took me away.
  The newspapers made a bad case of it, with the headline “Sleeping with Dead Lover” and they called me “mentally ill” and said I “slept for days next to a rotting corpse” which was bullshit – I didn’t sleep for days, I tried my best to keep Elise smelling good and her body not decomposing.
  Recently, I started doing tattoos, which is very familiar to me. Customers flock to it, wanting all kinds of things – anchors, hearts, girlfriends’ names and pictures, which I perfectly replicate on their arms, legs or on the chest. It killed my time and earned me respect.
  I heard they had Elise on display in a science lab in Washington DC because the linseed oil and varnish I used – maybe that nasty happy perfume – kept her body intact and they wanted to find reason. I’d be happier if she was in Frank’s gallery or the Guggenheim or the Museum of Modern Art, but such is life, right? Still, I’m glad that my work is seen and appreciated, and the thought of people staring at my work, at Elise, gives me a reason to keep living. I just hope someone is kind enough to close her eyes.