Scorpion threw a fantastic Halloween party and he seemed happy but a few days later, he called sounding anxious.
“Sylvia, I need to talk to you.”
A little shiver of anticipation went through me. Why would Scorpion need to talk to me?
“Can’t talk about it on the phone. Meet me at 4:00 in the park bistro for coffee?”
“Sure!” I said without hesitation. Yet, I felt a pang of jealousy. Once before we had champagne in the park when he told me about his upcoming show in London. Was he going to tell me about another show he was offered in another famous city? I hadn’t been offered a show lately.
I felt a pang of jealousy. Once before we had champagne in the park when he told me about his upcoming show in London. Was he going to tell me about another show he was offered in another famous city?
Although I was jealous, I felt empathy. I like Scorpion and enjoy the liveliness of his nail and string insect sculptures.
I told Max about the meeting.
“Oh?” he said, twiddling his moustache. “Another date with Scorpion?”
“Max, dear – he just wants to talk.” But I hummed while I was getting ready.
At 4:00, I sat down next to Scorpion at a table in the bistro under a shady palm. He kissed my cheek.
This time we did order coffee.
Scorpion stirred his for a long time, looking thoughtfully at the swirls the spoon made. “I just had a long talk with Mr. Francis.”
Mr. Francis is the owner of the gallery where Scorpion and I had a show together several months ago.
I bristled inside. “Did he offer you another show?”
He shook his head. “We didn’t talk about that. I wanted his advice and got it.”
“Oh, dear,” I said, knowing how prickly Mr. Francis is. “Sure you wouldn’t like some brandy with your coffee?”
He smiled. “No.”
“I hope he didn’t turn you off to creating your art!”
“The opposite. He encouraged my creativity and helped me focus.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Mr. Francis was kind to you?”
“Hard to believe, but yes. I’ve been thinking ……… my show in Mexico was a success but the one in London, a dismal failure.”
I set my cup down. “You’re not going to believe harsh critics, are you?”
“There’s always some truth to criticism. But that’s not what bothers me. I love art. But my question is …. should I be creating it or showing it?”
“What do you mean?”
He looked me in the eye. “I’m thinking of opening my own gallery….. encouraging other artists.”
Shocked, I said, “Giving up your art?”
“Not giving up ……. redirecting. I’ll always create. I’m free to explore – family money, you remember.”
“Even so, you’re compelled to make something of yourself.” I smiled and patted his hand. “You’re quite a man!”
He cupped his other hand over mine.
I was touched by this intimacy. I asked, “What will you do?”
“Travel for a while …… visit as many galleries in different countries as possible. Talk to gallery owners and artists – gather information.”
“Wise,” I said, nodding. “Sounds like you’re taking a good direction.” I winked. “When you do open a gallery, be sure you show my work, too.”
“You’ll be my first!” He squeezed my hand. “Your work is touching.”
“Thank you, dear,” I said. “I’ll miss you but wish you the greatest success.”
He leaned over and gave me another kiss on the cheek. “You’re a good friend and a good example.” He hailed the waiter. “This calls for a bottle of champagne and a toast to our futures.”
“Follow your dreams, trust yourself, prepare to be astonished ……. E. B. White once said, ‘Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder!’”
“Cheers to that!”
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