11. The OpeningA Chapter by Craig2591
Chrissy loses her cool.
in a foul mood! She absolutely detested gallery openings,
even Ian's. She saw them as nothing more than events where
pretentious, artsy-fartsy people came to show off their latest
outfits, get free wine and cheese, act sophisticated and then leave
without buying anything. She especially hated watching Ian schmooze
and charm the patrons as they told him how much they just adored
his paintings and then left empty handed or with only a cheap print.
She thought it was so demeaning! And there were always one or two
women that flirted with him at these things, though he was usually
too clueless to realize it.
She didn't dress up for the occasion. Instead, she wore torn black jeans and a white, wife-beater tank top over a black bra. For shoes she wore her usual black work boots. It was unintentional, but it was the same basic outfit that she had worn while posing for Ian's latest painting, 'The Critic'. Tonight was the first public showing of that painting. Ian was so pleased with it that he had decided not to sell it, offering only prints of it instead. She was kind of glad about that. She liked the painting, too. It was his best one in her opinion. In addition to 'The Critic', he had also brought six of his other paintings.
Ian broke away from the rest of the
patrons and walked over to her. “Everything okay?” he asked her.
“No! It's not okay!” she answered crossly, “Can we leave now?”
“Come on, Bittersweet. You know I have to be here. The gallery owner will get mad if I leave.”
'Bittersweet' was his pet name for her. He said it described her personality - dark and bitter, with just enough sweetness to keep him coming back for more. Yeah, it was hokey, but she kind of liked it. It was better than 'sweetypie' or 'snookums' or some of the other idiotic names that couples gave each other. And she knew that he would never call another woman by that name for the rest of his life.
“So what?!” she said curtly, “He's just using you to draw people into his gallery so he can sell some of that sappy kitsch that his other artists call art! These phonies wouldn’t know good art if it bit them on the a*s!”
“Maybe I should entitle my next painting 'The Cynic',” he chuckled. She made a nasty face at him. “Cheer up,” he smiled, “They really love 'The Critic'. I've sold three prints of it.”
“Chump change!” she retorted, “By the time you figure in the printing costs and then the gallery's commission, you're lucky if you break even on those.”
“I know, but it's nice when people are willing to spend money on something I've created. It's good for my ego.”
“You're a talented artist, Ian. You deserve more than just having your ego stroked. And I'm not talking about that red head in the green sweater who obviously wants to stroke more than just your ego.”
He furrowed his brow. “What are you talking about?”
“Jesus, Ian! She's been hitting on you all night! Can't you tell?!”
“She has?” He turned to look for her.
Chrissy slapped him on the arm. “Never mind about her!”
He turned back to her and sighed, “Look Babe, don't you think I'm already aware of everything you’re saying? For my entire life all I've wanted is to be an artist, and if this is as close as I ever get, then I'll take it. Once every few months I get to be the center of attention at an opening like this, and I can just be myself because people expect artists to be weird.”
She sighed and looked slightly abashed. “I'm sorry,” she said, “I didn't mean to spoil your moment. Go back and mingle with your 'fans'. I'll be fine.”
“You could mingle a little, too, you know. Some of these people would get a kick out of meeting the model for 'The Critic'. And you might find out they're really not so bad.”
“I suppose,” she sighed again, and then added angrily, “But I swear, if one more person mistakes me for your daughter I'm going to throw a fit!”
“Just don't do anything that would get me banned from every gallery in the city,” he chuckled. He turned and went back to the crowd.
Chrissy wandered over to a wall where some of Ian's paintings were hanging and pretended to peruse them. Presently, she heard a voice beside her say, “Hello.”
She turned to find the redheaded woman
in the green sweater smiling at her. Oh great! She was the
last person Chrissy wanted to be cordial to. She gave her a
curt nod in greeting.
“It must be exciting to be an
artist's model,” said the woman.
“About as exciting as standing stock still for an hour at a time can be, I suppose,” Chrissy answered a tad flippantly.
The woman laughed, thinking Chrissy was making a joke. “Well, I think your father is a very talented artist,” she said, then added under her breath, “Tell me, do you know if he's seeing anyone right now?”
That did it!! Chrissy shot her such an evil look that the woman actually stepped back two paces. Then Chrissy brushed past her and stormed across the gallery to where Ian was standing, conversing with an elderly gentleman. A couple of the gallery patrons glanced at her curiously as she strode by. “Excuse me!” she interrupted when she reached him. Then she turned around to the crowd of people, held her right hand in the air and said loudly, “May I have your attention, please?! I'd like everybody's attention here, please!”
Once she was satisfied that she had everyone's attention, she turned to Ian, wrapped her right arm around his neck and planted a very passionate kiss on his mouth. At the same time, she reached around behind him with her other hand and, with a flourish, grabbed his right buttock and gave it a good squeeze. Except for a couple of gasps, the gallery was stone silent. Then she disengaged herself from him, turned to face the astonished onlookers and practically shouted, “He's not my father! Got it?! He's not my father!”
She marched back across the gallery through the shocked crowd, some of whom had their mouths agape, to the refreshment table where she grabbed a bottle of beer from the ice bucket, twisted the cap off, and took a swig. She almost threw the cap at the attendant behind the table but decided that he was just a minimum wage flunky and flipped it past his ear into the garbage can instead.
Ian was the first one to regain his composure. He turned to the gentleman that had been talking to him, smiled, and said, “I'm sorry, you were saying...?
© 2013 Craig2591
Not Your Usual Love Story
AboutI am a visual artist with no formal training in creative writing. I get stories knocking around my head and sometimes I write them down. I decided to join this site to share them with other writers .. more..
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