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Monday, December 31, 2012

Duck Theology, parts 1042 - 1045

1042. Later in the story, when Odysseus has to face the final conflict with the suitors, he is full of foreboding lest he fail to accomplish such a formidable undertaking, he asks the Gods not for a sign, but he asks for two signs, because one sign might be just a coincidence. In asking for these two omens he says:

1043. Odysseus prayed: "Father Zeus, since you have seen fit to bring me over land and sea to my own home after all the afflictions you have laid upon me, give me a sign out of the mouth of some one or other of those who are now waking in the house, and let me have another sign of some kind from the outside."

1044. "There you see it yourself," said the Duck, holding up his i-pad so we could see the page he had found, a pdf of the Odyssey. "Now consider what is in the prayer," he continued, "First he more or less complains saying 'all the afflictions you have laid upon me', then he asks for two signs, rather than the usual one, because in his heart, he is distrustful."

1045. "Coromo also, just like Odysseus, does not trust his maker, but suspects affliction to be laid upon him, so also, he asks for a second sign, which he promptly receives in the form of an e-mail from Rose VanDusenberg." 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Duck Theology, parts 1038 - 1041

1038. First of all, Coromo does not trust his good fortune. God has, in no uncertain terms, shown him how to pay for his art supplies, by letting him in on the secret about the credit card companies. It was God's intent, I am sure, to see to it that his application was approved. But Coromo does not trust his good fortune, on the contrary he suspects he is being baited into some dreadful predicament.

1039. This is a distant echo of poor Odysseus, that time when the Gods finally allow him to return home, and Calypso tells him to build a raft to sail over the wine dark sea. He does not think this is a good thing at all, or any kind of an answer to his prayers, on the contrary he says:

1040. "Now Goddess," Odysseus says, "you can not really be meaning to help me home when you bid me do such a dreadful thing as put to sea on a raft. Not even a well-found ship would venture on such a voyage: nothing you can say or do shall make me go on board a raft unless you solemnly swear you mean me no mischief."

1041. For a person who is constantly helped and looked after by the Gods practically day and night, Odysseus is remarkably cautious and loath to do anything with out a few good omens to give him confidence. I suppose this is because he has seen over and over again that the Gods are tricksters, and always on the lookout for a good laugh at the expense of those poor humans they appear to be so willing to help out.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Duck Theology, parts 1034 - 1037

1034. "Your story is a work of art Jemima," said Buboni. "To bad there is not some secretary around to write it all down and preserve it as a work of literature, instead of it existing only as our idle chit-chat." 

1035. I had another point of view that I kept to myself, out of a desire not to upset Buboni and expose what I thought were his true feelings. I suspected that he was jealous of Coromo, and truly hoped that he did not really exist and was just a fiction of Jemima's imagination. I would guess that Aunt Jemima was probably 50, and Buboni was about 63, and Coromo, if he actually existed would be about 28, that should sufficiently explain the art historian's anxiety.

1036. As so often happened, the Duck, who had been listening silently, had a completely different take on the entire story, he thought it was a beautiful work of fiction created by Aunt Jemima, and yet also 'very nearly the truth', as he was so fond of saying.

1037. "Interestingly enough," said the Duck, "there are many precedents of authors knowing the prayers of the characters they are creating, and also authors who profess to know the prayers of characters who actually existed. Descriptions of prayer has a long and important history in literature not least of which is King David's Psalms. Homer gives us Odysseus' prayers in the Odyssey, and those prayers have a remarkable similarity to Coromo's, which I would like to point out.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Duck Theology, parts 1030 - 1033

1030. You may think he was just trying to insult and belittle Aunt Jemima but if so you have not been paying attention. As was mentioned many paragraphs ago, Buboni was developing a distinct attraction to Aunt Jemima, so if he was attacking her story as being entirely false, his intention must on the one hand have been to compliment her in some way, and secondly, to show off his great knowledge.

1031. "You may know," said Buboni, "the price of Coromo's art supplies, and by the way, Cadmium Red can be had for ten dollars. You may know about interior decoration and the odd habits of tropical tourists, but how do you explain your knowledge of what the manager thinks about when he listens to classical music, and lastly how do you know the very words of Coromo's prayers, and the underlinings in his Grandma's Bibles?"

1032. It was true that the longer Aunt Jemima's story went on, the more complicated it became. Just in the telling of it, she seemed to delight in making up more and more elaborate details. I am sure we all wondered if there really was a chain-link fence covered with primitive paintings, and if there really was some dining room at a resort in which a character like Coromo was selling pictures to families with names like Pontormo.

1033. But, most of all, how could it be that Jemima knew the very prayers of this character she seemed to be inventing with such interest and passion. Buboni was not sparing in his praise of her story, but he wanted to make the point that she deserved the credit for its invention, and that it was not just her good fortune that she happened to be acquainted with such an interesting person. 

Duck Theology, parts 1026 - 1029

1026. This is what God told Rose to write, I am copying it out just as he dictated it, mistakes and all. "Dear Koromo, It has come to my attention that you have raised the prices for your paintings up to 19.95, this is a serious mistake on your part. No one will even consider purchasing paintings for that price, have some common sense and put your prices back down to too dollars, just like all of the other artists out on the chain-link fence." 

1027. "If you don't was to sell for two dollars, than just make the price two hundred dollars, those tourists are just a bunch a stupid rich people who...those tourists are just well-meaning rich people who don't distinguish between to dollars, and too hundred, but they think that things priced at 19.95 must be junk straight out of WalMart. A tourist is just as likely to pay two hundred, as two dollars, that is what they are like, take my word for it, I have know lots of them over the years.

1028. That was God's e-mail to Coromo, sent by way of Rose VanDusenberg, full of typing mistakes because he never re-read his notes being so busy all the time. I was happy to see that he mixed up to, too, and two, just like I do constantly. 

1029. While Aunt Jemima had been telling us about the activities of Coromo and Rose VanDusenberg, I couldn't help but notice a wry smile playing across Buboni's face from time to time, and his agitation as he listened to her story mounted till finally he interrupted her with a serious admonition. "It's garbage, Jemima," he said, "This entire story of Coromo is being made up out of whole cloth. No such person ever existed, that is obvious, very obvious!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 1022 - 1025

1022. God had Rose write an e-mail to the restaurant manager, he dictated the e-mail quietly right into Rose's ear, and for Rose it just seemed to be that she suddenly had a very good, generous idea she had to act upon that very moment. It was an entirely unselfish impulse, it took her by storm. After she wrote the e-mail, she had a wonderful feeling of well-being, and went for a long walk in some public gardens, and felt dreamy and light headed.

1023. She came across some wonderful roses, stopped to admire them, and said to herself, "I am Rose." Years later she would remember that walk in the public gardens and wonder about it and ask herself, 'Why was that such a wonderful walk, so much so that I keep measuring everything else that happens in my life by it, God, it was like I was in heaven that afternoon.

1024. The ground had been prepared for Rose to send the e-mail because of a sarcastic message she had received from the restaurant manager about Coromo's paintings. Here is what the manager wrote to Rose. "Poor Coromo, he just found out his paintings cost twenty dollars to paint, and he had been selling them for two dollars apiece. He has decided to charge $19.95 for each picture, and now nobody is interested in his masterpieces anymore." 

1025. This was a vindictive e-mail, full of spite, in which he was trying to point out how stupid Coromo was, and by default, implying that all of Rose's ideas and decisions were probably just a dumb. This message had been rankling in the back of Rose's mind, so God's encouragement to her to write an e-mail to the manager  about Coromo had been well prepared.

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 1018 - 1021

1018. Not only that but God has a nice habit of canceling all debts accruing to Him every  so many years, something the credit card companies never do. They pursue those debts with religious fervor.

1019. Why would the credit card companies extend credit to Coromo, a person who had no assets, and almost no income to speak of? It was a simple matter of actuarial science. Those credit card companies knew that art supply purchases are risk free because only the rich ever buy the stuff and, even though the rich don't always pay their bills, still you can squeeze it out of them later with no trouble.

1020. The only thing that troubled Coromo was the consideration that someday he was going to have to pay the loan back, or stop purchasing the supplies. That old fear that he was being slowly lured into a trap to be punished rather than having his prayers answered began to torment him again, and so he resumed praying, asking for God to send him some sign or message to tell him his prayers were truly being answered so he could proceed.

1021. God, at that moment was busy making sure a man who had just been served by a lawyer with divorce papers was also going to get a ticket for parking in the handicapped space he had overlooked because he was so nervous about the lawyer's appointment. We don't really know at this point why God wanted the poor man to have that ticket, but it didn't happen anyway, because God immediately turned his attention to Coromo when he heard the new request. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 1014 - 1017

1014. But let's not forget about his dilemma. Last night he was on his knees praying to God to give him the necessary art supplies so that he could complete his God given task of painting pictures for Tallulah, and replacing the five pictures he had sold in the past week to the Pontormo family visiting from Italy. The Pontormo family that claimed descent from the great Mannerist painter Pontormo. Coromo pretended he knew about Pontoromo, although it could have been a brand of Olive Oil for all he knew.

1015. God answered Coromo's prayers that morning. Don't go asking me why God answered his prayers when there were so many other people in the world praying for stuff much more important that art supplies. God answered his prayers I suppose, because that is what God is like, full of mischief, delighting in a wry prank in one place while an entire continent is engulfed in a tidal wave in another place and millions drown or are buried in earthquakes. "God quacks in mysterious ways", commented the Duck.

1016. Here is the way God answered Coromo's prayer, he caused the catalogue for the art supplies to fall out of the UPS box and open up to the page where the art supply company offered a low interest credit card to their customers, and at the same time as he read the ad for the credit card, God put it into his mind to apply for that card using the prestigious address of the resort as his billing address.

1017. But you may object that there is a world of difference between God's mysterious machinations and the machinations of the credit card companies. God, you may say, fulfills the desires of the soul in ways that, over time, we understand the beauty of, and the credit companies strive to exploit those exact same desires, charging us more than twice as much for their fulfillment as God might have charged us in the first place.  

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 1010 - 1013

1010. Dependent as they were on scavenged raw materials their paintings and drawing had a much more rustic and primitive look than did Coromo's pictures and this was an advantage to them in the one to five dollar picture trade, because they had no costs to cover.

1011. Coromo, on the other hand, had started out with expensive artists materials, he had developed his skills with real materials, and even though, when he saw all of this other art which cost nothing to make he saw their advantage, it was too late for him to change direction. After all, he still had to replace Talullah's art supplies as well as paint pictures for her before her anticipated yearly visit at the end of the season.

1012. And don't go getting the idea that any time natives start selling pictures to tourists it is going to be a big success, and everyone will be happy and the natives will make a lot of money. That would be as naive as thinking that anyone buying and selling space in shipping containers like Mr. VanDusenberg was doing, is bound to make money. Such assumptions about success belittle true accomplishment, Coromo's accomplishment.

1013. What Coromo had done was to create a new art market, a market that would sustain his community for years to come, and he did it the way all great deeds are accomplished, by accident, on an unseen wave of history that picks a person up in one place, and deposits them in another, along with their entire world. All truly great deeds are effortless, that is the simple truth.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 1006 - 1009

1006. At first it was just two or three artists, but by the end of the season the entire half mile from the resort to the village was crowded with exhibitors, and the more of them there were the more successful the trade became, since it became a necessity for every tourist to buy several pictures for themselves, and extras as gifts for friends and the family.

1007. Trips to the village now became a necessary part of the resort experience, so much so that the resort management made plans to feature an article about it in its next annual brochure. Coromo's village was in the interior, however, so he was not even aware of this explosion of art activity he had been the cause of. He did not know about those artists, but they knew about him, they did not know him by name. He was referred to as "Somgy."

1008. He was called Somgi, because of this oft-repeated phrase, "Some Guy is selling dumb pictures of blue cats and purple dogs to the tourists for a buck a piece.

1009. All of these new artists did not have the problem of the expense of art supplies because it never entered their heads to go looking for oil paint, linseed oil, turpentine or stretched canvases; they had never heard of such stuff. For materials they did not go to any art supply store, but instead headed off to the local landfill, in search of old cans of roofing tar, or half filled-paint cans, scrap pieces of lumber and that sort of thing.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 1002 - 1005

1002. On occasion the more adventurous resort guests would venture to walk to the village along the coastal dirt road, and then back to the resort, a trip of a mile, and when these brave souls were able to return to the compound over and over again unharmed, not held for ransom or otherwise attacked or molested, the other more timid patrons followed their example, and a constitutional to the village and back became an accepted daily event for many people.

1003. The resort owned the beach front going almost the entire distance to the village, and in an attempt to keep the beach private, and to keep out the locals, an ugly cyclone fence had been build almost the entire length of the distance to the town. The fence was an eyesore, and more than that, it was an insult to the locals who had free access to their ocean for centuries past, up until the resort purchased the beach front and fenced off the beach.

1004. The fence didn't really matter however, because the local children, acting according to "The Children's Unwritten Law of Universal Property Rights", tore holes in the fence wherever access was needed. Over time the resort was forced to abandon the misguided attempt to segregate the beach, and what remained was nearly a half a mile of ugly, rusted cyclone fencing overgrown with weeds and saplings. 

1005. That ugly cyclone fence, of no use to anyone, built as an insult to the locals, rusted and overgrown with weeds now became the engine of a new economy for the local population. The word of Coromo's success selling paintings to the tourists spread among the locals, and soon he had imitators. New artists were cropping up every day, and since they did not have access to the resort grounds, they naturally displayed their pictures in the most logical place, on the cyclone fence.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 998 - 1001

998. Coromo was not asking for bread, he was asking for art supplies. Asking for bread had a certain validity about it, but asking for art supplies struck him as a little superfluous, but he pushed the thought from his mind, including the notion that millions of very devout people had starved to death asking God for bread. When he went to work in the morning he picked up a small stone in the road, and carried it in his pocket. 'Perhaps He will give me the stone instead', he thought.

999. Carrying a stone in your pocket, a stone you endow with special emotional significance can have a serious effect on the course of your life. If you want a good example of this just watch Fellini's movie called La Strada, where the character Gelsomina clutches a little stone given to her by the "Fool".  That situation lead eventually to her death, but we will hope for a better outcome for our painter friend.

1000. I have neglected to tell you an important thing that was happening outside of the resort facility, during  the time Coromo was dealing with Rose and the manager, putting up his paintings and selling them. All this took about two months during the height of the tourist season, and outside of the resort, day by day an odd transformation was going on.

1001. First let me describe the situation. The resort was on the coast, all by itself about half a mile from the nearest coastal village. In general the tourists stayed in the resort compound, hardly ever venturing outside, both because of an unjustified anxiety about the poverty-stricken natives, and also because there was nothing of interest outside the resort grounds.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 994 - 997

994. As you know Coromo was very religious, but he was very reluctant to resort to prayer to solve a specific problem. It was all well and good for his dear Grandmother to be praying all the time, down on her knees, asking for anything from relief for her rheumatism, to some nice ripe pears. That was what she was like. For Grandma, God may as well have lived in a big house down the street; a very nice God, who granted all requests if only he happened to be at home.

995. But for Coromo resorting to prayer was an act of desperation. You very well remember the last time Coromo had to resort to praying, down on his hands and knees out in the woods, to save himself from falling into serious difficulties with that third sister he had to spend the night with. Back then his prayers had gone unanswered, and he still had mixed feelings about the result of that particular religious experience.

996. He got Grandmother's Bible out, one of the ones she had given him after she had used it up. It was Grandma's practice to note down her comments in the borders of the pages, and since all she ever did in her old age was read, underline passages, and write in the margins, those old Bibles soon became worn out with her endless notations. When Coromo found himself in difficulties he would open his bible at random and read one of Grandma's underlined passages.

997. The passage he came across that night gave him deep confidence that he would find some answer to his art supply problem, here is the passage for your edification: Matthew 7: 9-11  Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 990 - 993

990. The manager explained to him some of the most basic considerations of a successful business venture.  He went through the bother of adding up the cost of  a painting, adding also a small amount for Coromo's time and subtracting for the occasional failure. He arrived at a price of eighteen dollars for each painting; this was a price that would allow replacement of materials and a hefty two dollar profit per picture.

991. "So you see Coromo," pontificated the manager, "When the concession gift store prices its photo gift plaques at twenty-five dollars it is not an inflated price at all but simply a price that includes all of the necessary expenses involved in being able to sell something and yet make a modest return." 

 992. Coromo did try selling his paintings for $19.95  each, instead of two dollars, but he was not surprised to find out that although everyone wanted paintings for a dollar or two, nobody wanted his pictures when they cost twenty dollars. Even lowering the price to fifteen dollars did no good. He had to repress a growing feeling of resentment as every day he saw that the resort guests would spend a hundred dollars for dinner, but not spend twenty for one of his original paintings.

993. The worst part was having to take the manager's advice, advice he felt would never work out, not because the advice did not make sense, but because he knew that the man did not like him. He was forced to fall back on desperate means, he decided to take his Grandmother's advice and pray to God for a solution to his problem.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 986 - 989

986. There was no point to trying to add up the cost of the paintings he had produced, what would be the point?  If he added up all the money he had made selling his pictures he would not have been able to buy even one tube of oil paint. How stupid! How idiotic! he thought. 

987. He was a sad sight sitting there at his kitchen table with the catalogue in his hand. He felt like a person might feel who comes across their own obituary in the local paper. Here was this paper document covered with information written up by someone he did not know, in a place he had never been, and couldn't imagine, but which seemed to put an end to his new idea of himself.

988. The next day the manager, seeing the dejected looks on Coromo's face, and his depressed, lack-lusted demeanor on the job, called him aside and questioned him about what was wrong. He soon found out what was it was, just as he had suspected. 

989. The biggest problem for Coromo was what to do about Tallulah, who would arrive in a few weeks expecting to buy all his paintings for a dollar each, having provided by her investment in him all the necessary materials - materials which actually never really belonged to him in the first place.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Rose VanDusenbergl, parts 982.- 985

982. "Coromo, you have been framing and selling five dollar bills for a dollar each." How the manager looked forward to saying this, and putting the dumb waiter turned artist in his place. But he would pretend to be sympathetic, and offer some good business advice.

983. The day the manager anticipated did come as Coromo was about to paint his last picture on the canvases sent to him by Tallulah. In the bottom of the cardboard UPS box he came across the packing slip with a list of the materials and their prices. He had looked at the price list long ago, but, not being interested in it at the time he had forgotten all about it.

984. Now, when he had to consider replacing the canvases, he looked at both the invoice, and also the catalogue of art materials that was also enclosed in the crate. He intended to look up the price of the canvases but his attention was diverted by the price list just for the tubes of paint.

985. His favorite color was cadmium red light, and it cost over fifty dollars, fifty dollars for a tube like a small tube of tooth paste.  He rummaged through his cigar box of oil paint and found that his cadmium red light was all used up, and his cadmium medium was almost gone also. Just these two tubes of paint amounted to nearly a hundred dollars. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 978 - 981

978. Meanwhile the situation necessitated a subtle change in his relationship with the restaurant manager. The manager had received an e-mail about a week after his meeting with Rose, suggesting that Coromo be allowed to sell his pictures himself, if the opportunity arose. In order for this to happen, the rule of the help not indulging in idle conversation with the resort clients had to be abrogated.

979. Allowing a simple waiter to indulge in conversation with the clients was galling to the manager, but he had to go along with it. It didn't matter, he knew that Coromo was making a stupid mistake with his project of selling his pictures, a mistake so obvious that it proved beyond any doubt that Coromo was dumb, his pictures pointless, and Rose was just a simpleton who actually knew nothing about anything.

980. What was it that the manager knew? Just this, he was in charge of all purchases for the concession and gift shop for the resort and since he had to to make all those purchases, he knew very nearly how much Coromo's paintings cost to produce. This was not an artistic consideration, this was not a matter of art, it was simply a business consideration. Those pictures cost no less that fifteen dollars a piece for canvas, stretchers, and paint. How he was able to sell them for two dollars, he had no idea.

981. The manager did not know how his waiter managed to produce his paintings without the expense of the materials because he did not know about Tallulah's sending him all of those canvases as well as lots of very expensive tubes of paint. But the manager knew that sooner or later the excrement would be hitting the air-conditioner, and he rubbed his hands in anticipation.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 974 - 977

974. The price range for gift items in the store was from fifteen to thirty dollars, and so the resort patrons gravitated to Coromo's paintings, not just because of the price, but because they were somehow more representative of their tropical resort experience. Over time he began to see a pattern emerging in these sales, they happened always on a couple's last day at the resort, when they were trying at the last minute to decide on gifts to take home. 

975. He began to expect to be able to sell at least two paintings a week, and he immediately replaced the sold pictures with new ones he would paint in the evening.  He had to involve himself in a little deception however; he changed his waiter name tag to read Koromo, instead of Coromo, and claimed that the painter was a friend from his village. "Coromo is an illiterate old man with no teeth who suffers from dementia," he might say.

976. Little by little, without his really knowing it, Coromo developed the consummate skills of a picture salesman, skills impossible to learn except over a long time in the perfect conditions. They were not exactly skills so much as a flowering of dormant aspects of his personality. First of all was the most important attribute; a complete indifference to any possibility of a sale.

977. The second necessary attribute of the picture salesman was the actual love of the item being considered for sale and his real reluctance to part with it. The third attribute he developed over time was a playful disregard of the truth, an a propensity to make up on the spot, far fetched explanations to the client's questions.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 970 - 973

970. Then one day he sold another painting to one of the tourists. This is how it happened. There was a family of five, a mother and father and three children two boys and a girl, the children all under ten years old. It was there last day at the resort and they were trying to decide what to purchase to take home as a keep-sake of their vacation. 

971. All of the children wanted to buy one of Coromo's paintings, the one of the black and white striped tourist bus with the dog headed passengers. Since Coromo was waiting on their table, they asked him if it was possible to find out if the picture was for sale. He said he had no idea but he would find out from the manager. He was willing to sell his picture to the family, as long as he did not have to admit that he was the person who had painted it.

972. The manager agreed to let him sell the picture right off the restaurant wall, and so he had to decide on a price for it. All of his previous sales had been to Tallulah, and he had charged a dollar for each one. Now he was emboldened by the new interest in his work, and so he decided to double his price to two dollars. The tourist family did not haggle over the price and so they took the picture off the wall, wrapped it in a towel, and took it home with them the next day.

973. This transaction, which took place in the dining room, was not ignored by the other guests of the resort. What had happened was that the picture had been purchased as a memento for two dollars. The resort had a section of there store set aside for this sort of purchase, there were wood plaques with pictures of the resort laminated to them for twenty dollars, and miniature licence-plates with the name of the resort in embossed letters, for twenty-five dollars.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 966 - 969

966. Coromo soon realized that the re-decoration was a success however, the patrons all stayed longer in the evening that they had before, and their liquor tabs increased significantly. The change was subtle, but one thing was noticeable, the color of the walls reflected in the guest's faces and everyone looked more vibrant and lively.  "Those tan and gray walls were deadly" he thought, "Rose was correct, color transforms everyone emotionally, if only they are perfect colors".

967. He found himself in a peculiar situation. His pictures were all on one wall of the dining room, and along that wall were six tables all of which were in his section so he was the waiter for the patrons sitting next to his paintings. None of the resort guests had any idea that he was the artist who had painted the pictures, and he had no intention of informing anyone.

968. None of the clients paid any attention to to the pictures in the dining room, at least at first, but after a few weeks He began to notice that there were exceptions to the aesthetic indifference of the resort clients. Every once in a while one of the guests, after a long expensive meal and several drinks, would totter up to one of his pictures and make an obscure comment. But Coromo was coming and going about his duties, what he heard was invariably just a half a sentence.

969. There were a lot of art works in the restaurant but it was Coromo's pictures that were commented on, everything else was passed over in silence. What were these people thinking? What were they saying? He had no idea. The situation was nerve wracking for him.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 962 - 965

962. He made up his mind to hang his pictures in the restaurant as Rose had commanded him to do, but under no circumstances was he going to take credit for them or tell anyone he had painted them. The manager knew, but he could do nothing about that.

963. A week later, after dinner, a crew of painters and decorators invaded the dining room and worked all night and through the following day. At dinner-time the room was ready for business.  All the walls were transformed with various colors, and all the furniture was replaced with rustic chairs and tables, It was a shocking transformation, but what followed was even more shocking to Coromo. 

964. What followed was...nothing!  The guests of the resort had no reaction at all to the room's transformation. They neither commented about the color, or remarked about the change of the furniture. No one took the least interest in the new pictures. Coromo's paintings were not subjected to ridicule, on the contrary, it was as if his pictures were not there at all; nobody looked at them.

965. There was something strange and impossible to him about the reaction of the resort guests to the re-design of the dining-room. He was reminded again of that Bible verse, 'Having eyes they see not.' In a way he was happy about the reaction because he expected to be in an embarrassing spotlight, but his things seemed to be simply invisible.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rose VanDusenberg, parts 958 - 961

958. To Coromo the same simplicity applied to his pictures, they were either good, or they were not good, it was as simple as that. Obviously there were people who knew about pictures and they would know the incontrovertible answer to the question, "Are Coromo's pictures good, or are they bad?"  His own opinion was of no account. If you have ever painted pictures yourself, and had the misfortune to have other people talk about them, you know what I mean.

959. Here was the difficulty, he had the opinions of three people about his pictures, Rose VanDusenberg thought that they were 'good' good enough to take responsibility for putting them up in the dining-room of the resort, and Tallulah thought they were good, good enough to actually purchase them. But the hotel manager though his pictures were bad, so bad that they were deserving of ridicule.

960. Rose's observations about his use of color did not impress him either, the fact that there were walls down in the village painted all sorts of colors, and parts of these walls were crumbling and falling apart was in no way beautiful or picturesque to Coromo, on the contrary it was just decrepit. He was unable to see his surroundings with a stranger's eye, it was too familiar to be interesting.

961. His real suspicion was that it all had nothing to do with his paintings, it was simply that old ladies like Rose and Tallulah always liked him, and as a result were sure to like his pictures no matter what they looked like. This was no comfort to him, because he felt his pictures were about to be thrust into the real world where the truth would immediately come out. The restaurant manager's opinion would prevail, and he would end up being made a fool of to the manager's delight.