8. WILD FLOWERS




This morning I took twenty-five lbs. of wild flower seeds and walked through my pasture throwing them far and wide. Like Van Gogh's sower. Like some God damned romantic. This evening I'm sitting on my porch, looking out where I planted. My mother says if I rock in this chair any harder, I'll wear a hole in the floor. And she's probably right, she's usually right.

As I was scattering my seeds, I saw this picture in my mind, of reds, yellows, and blues as the sun was setting over the mountains here.

Damn, listen to me. I've never liked Monet, his lush gardens or his water lilies. But I do like flowers, in and of themselves they're not trite. Yet sometimes I wonder if I'm slipping; you know, letting myself become sentimental, maudlin. I couldn't live with myself, if I did. I want to craft a vision of cold beauty, a self-contained art, that needs no other justification. Not some stupid knee jerk emotion.

I want to be great. I want my paintings to hang in the best galleries on the West Coast and the East. You name it, I want to be there. Oh, I know, I've got a long way to go, but I am getting ahead connection by connection, review by review.

I live in this 'rustic modern' cabin outside San Francisco. I teach at a small college and make the trip to city every month or so. I visit with my parents when I'm in town, especially my mother, who for a woman is pretty remarkable.

Just kidding. Of course, I'm bitter, very bitter about my wife, my marriage. The legal crap that has gone on three times longer than we were together. But that's life in the twentieth century. You know, serial marriage, only one mate at a time, but two, three, four in your life.

Liz Taylor's been doing it all along; she was just more open. She said she'd never fucked a guy she hadn't tied the knot with. Now talk about old fashioned. I wish Warhol hadn't gotten there ahead of me, because I'd like to do a panel of her and her stable. An icon based on the notches cut into her bed post, but, of course, where do you put Burton?

I'm really just venting because of my wife. Drove me fucking nuts. After our honey moon, when we were happy for a week, I realized she was the only person who got more depressed than I could.

She supported me for several years so I'd get a foothold in the galleries. But the cost! She was working at an ad agency designing product campaigns while I was creating on 'great art.' She hated her job. I mean it was Huggies vs. the wrap around canvas. I tried to convince her it was hands-on pop-art. But usually I'd have to console her for the evening.

So when she left me and our apartment, she did the classic thing they do to painters. She threw all our potted plants into my canvases. Tore big holes. But I got her back; I just stitched them together, and made the sewing part of the design. Sold them for twice as much. Ha!

God, I miss her.

You know, I went to see my Mom last weekend. She asked me to join her for a walk, which she usually doesn't. So I figured something was up. When we had gone a mile or so, she stops me and says,"Wilson, I know you're thinking about getting married again, eventually. But I want you to consider something." I knew this was going to be good. Because watch out when Mom says "consider."

"You're getting somewhere with your painting; you've got a secure teaching job. You can come visit us whenever you want.

"And? Or should I say, but?" I interrupt.

"Maybe this is enough. Maybe you don't have to do everything. You're first marriage turned out so badly, you might try to be satisfied with your life as it is."

Well, you get the idea, that's Mom.

I'm so god damn frustrated, lonely now, I can't see how a marriage could make anything worse. Oh, I have okay days and worse days. But I still dream of that Ingres Odalisque who would make me happy.

Enough? Enough! Enough...

Maybe she is right. Maybe this is enough. This pasture, this house, my galleries, my students who seem to like me, if they're not just sucking up for the grade.

Enough is enough. Or is it half a loaf?

After my flowers bloom, I have this fantasy. When the moon is full, I'll walk out naked into the field and beat my meat among the daisies, the zinnias and howl at the moon.

Damn, listen to me. Next thing you know I'll be joining a men's group and drumming.

Well, the sun is starting to set, just like a pre-raphealite painting, and I guess I will wear a hole in this floor. But I'll stay out a little longer and watch the light fade. Maybe get those God damn flowers to hurry up and grow.

Just kidding. You know how it is.






Prev | Next | Contents



Back to home page.


Magazines, e-zines, publishers, web sites and anyone else who wants to publish these stories should contact me at the e-mail address below. No story may be reproduced in any form without my written permission.
Send me an e-mail message.

© Copyright 1998 by Richard deGaris Doble
All rights reserved.

Last Modified : 4/20/98 2:41:50 AM