Edward follows the light from the kitchen that spills into the rest of the apartment, catching the corners of the paintings that hang on the papered walls. The shadowy living space before him is dwarfed by the stacks of large, stretched canvasses leaning vertically against its walls. Edward eases pensively into the grey wooly sweater that had been draped like a phantom on a nearby chair, and then walks towards his former bed, the fallen canvas.
As he grasps the corners of the painting and raises it upright he is confronted with the image of a ballerina. The dancer is frozen in a movement, enveloped in tulle, surrounded by colourful orbs, exposing a raptured countenance. His eyes linger on the graceful brushstrokes before he lets the upright canvas release from his hands and reunite once again with the stack leaning against the wall. Edward directs his attention to the easel resting in the far corner of the room. It sits before a frost-framed window whose translucence displays the black, sparkling sky. Edward rests his aching body on the well-worn stool before the easel, gazing past the blank canvas and through the window to the street below.
The sidewalks are empty and all that disturbs the stillness of the frigid night are the colourful twinkle lights that frame the art gallery across the street, and the faint sound of a ukulele. The gentle tune is traveling from the apartment below that is shared by two long-term tenants, a couple. Edward turns on his stool to face the wall behind him. A series of small paintings depicting the evolution of two figures on the street below spans the length of the wall. Against the dark night, a willowy-figured woman and a peg-legged man stand on opposite street corners, streams of colour traveling the expanse between them.
To be continued.
Featured Image Credit: David E. Scherman, Georges Braque in His Studio, 1946