Just because I'm old does not mean the spark of life doesn't still burn my fingers. These days, I spend lots of time just being near people who know each other. I eavesdrop alot. I wear a baseball cap, rather than fuss with my hair.
In the old days, I used models from the town; young girls with small breasts. I would paint them in the loft, cold winter mornings, frost on the heavy glass, the fields stretched out and frozen beyond. They'd sit for hours, by that same window or lying with their back turned to me, on that little twin bed which has become a storage space for life's minutae. What people will do for a little warmth, a little attention, the promise of admiration.
I quit with the models after you appeared. You never asked it. My confidence became like a horsefly trapped in a car window, big black buzzing arrogant, terrifying until the window rolls down, it zips tiny and free into the world's monstrous proportions.
Now I only paint you, mostly from memory; your laugh lines and not-quite cobalt eyes, flashing blue and small breasts and freckles and wondrous ribcage, exposed beneath the just opened bathrobe. This is mostly memory though. I'm not sure where you are today or what your plans are for tomorrow. Me, I'll be here. People aren't too good for me right now. Or vice versa, I guess. My quiet runs like a disease through this little village. It is not something I feel I should share.