"What do you think?" He hands me the painting he had been working on for weeks. I look at it. I tilt my head as I rub my chin. I hmm, lower the frame and look him in the eye. That damn twinkle of his, so childish. I. Am. Impressed.
"The lady," I start and halt myself immediately. I could say the same thing I always say. 'It's a great piece man.' 'wow, you're so talented.' 'you did this? you're selling it right?' 'wow, no words.' I ponder for a second. Yes, I could say those things, but then I would make myself fall in a bed of thorny disappointments just like I've had in the past whenever he started woodworking.
I look at the chair out of the corner of my eye. Sturdy, aesthetically compelling, and impressive overall. I tilt my head the other way and spot the vase he made for me. Its contours and dull colors capture the senses of those looking at it. It's like looking at the Fibonacci frequency in a physical object. Just awe evoking. I look down at my jeans. He drew that Pikachu on it. It looks so badass and so like the manga. In that split second of decision, I realize that he has never made two of the same.
He has never made another porcelain related thing. He has never made another woodworking related object. He has never painted on my clothes again. Why? I ask myself this simple yet powerful question. He's bought all the tools to keep working on each and every single one of these hobbies. Why doesn't he stick to them? People throw money at him for him to do one of his pieces. He refuses to take money or even make another piece. Is this guy some type of mad genius? is he trying to add value to his name? Is he trying to simply turn people's souls on fire with his art and let them smoke into nothingness?
I can say that the lady, God, the lady looks so real. That I love the way he made the dress look transparent, and her breast so delicate. I want to remark how great her caramel skin looks. It looks moistened. And the flowing hair as she floats on the lake. Wow. I want to tell him how he made the water look so ultra-realistic that it makes me want to tilt it over a cup just to see if it would fill it up. Yet, I also find myself seen his eyes dimming just like they have had a dozen times before. This painting, God, it's so amazing. I bite my lip and stall by humming. I smack my teeth then catch the tension in the atmosphere.
I lower the painting to look at him in the eye. He's expectant. He's not being nonchalant. His big brown eyes, perfect color match to his curly hair, twinkle even more wildly. What is happening? I hadn't seen him like this for any of his hobbies... I gasp! Realization. Aha moment. Epiphany. Blind to the fact. Why hadn't I see this before? He's a dude!!! He's a man!!! And not that this is a rule, but yes! He's not motivated by compliments and affirming words! He's lead by challenge.
He has never stuck to a hobby because he has been so good at them as to give a damn. He wants, even in his hobby, to grow!
"Ahem," I clear my throat, "the lady looks fake." I gulp as I lie. Luckily, he doesn't see it. I take a peek over the painting again. Oh my God, it's working. Look at those arched eyebrows. Those parted lips. is that a smile I see?
"The lake can look ten times more realistic." I bullshit, "it could really use more highlights and a little less surrealism." I say as I smack my teeth. I clear my throat again as my subconscious betrays what my mouth is saying. I decide, at this moment, to halt my experiment and hand him the painting. He grabs it and looks at it from afar.
"Mmmm," He looks at it. I step to the side to see his expression. I bite the inside of my lip. Is it going to work? The moment becomes eternal. Is he going to get mad? Is he going to stop painting on canvases? Is he going to try another hobby next week?
"Wow, you're right, bae." He nods vigorously. "It does need a little work. I don't know how long it's going to take, but I can improve my technique." He nods, turns around, places the canvas back on the stand, sits down, and starts adding more details to it. He takes one, two, three strokes and if I thought it was amazing, this time... He left me breathless. I cover my mouth to avoid him hearing me gasp.
To my misfortune, he can feel it in the air. He looks at it, tilts his head, puts the brushes and pallet away. "This is boring." He says, gets up, and stretches his arms. He walks towards me, steals a kiss, squeezes my right boob, and strolls away. "Imma try photoshop. I heard it can be challenging." He walks out of the room and I'm left wide-eyed and mystified by this guy's prowess.
I drop my shoulders in defeat, thinking that I've failed to make him feel inspired about something. "Hey," He stretches his neck out of the door frame. "Imma paint something else tomorrow. It's boring but I kinda like it. Thank you, bae, you're the best." He winks. I clench my fists and celebrate. I spin on my heels and dance for reasons I don't understand. I feel alive. I feel empowered. I feel like I helped my man find a passion.
Where is he going to go with his newfound passion? Where are we going to go? Is he going to quit his job and support us with his art? Will I marry a successful artist? Could this be my new hobby...? Nah, it's too easy.