It was a dreary Monday afternoon. The clouds in the sky were full, and rain was about to come down like teardrops. Golson McGuterson sat in his office, staring at the computer, blanking out, and wondering what to do with his life. He had been working for this agency for many years, as an accountant. He was alone, for now, and his thoughts were rolling around in his head like marbles with no container.
His heart was blue on this particular afternoon. He wore a black suit, with professional-looking shoes, a black tie, and a black fedora. He knew that some women hated men with a fedora, and didn’t want any cougars pouncing on him. On this particular day, Golson McGuterson felt like the loneliest man on earth. He was twenty-five and had just been through a divorce. He didn’t want to talk about it, think about it, or feel anything about it, but he did, almost every day.
The clock’s needle finally reached the five ’o’ clock hour, and the man picked up his briefcase and walked outside. The rain drops were coming down, each one attacking his torn-apart dignity. He cursed, and scuttled to his Volkswagon. It wasn’t much, but it was cheap. Cheap mattered in this day and aged. Cheap made life affordable, doable, real. Cheap meant that the man didn’t have to be in debt. It meant that the gas was reasonable enough, even though gas would never be reasonable to McGuterson. He was sick and tired of gas companies charging through the roof for their products that did nothing but contribute to climate change and help the United States continue to fight wars overseas. Nothing had changed. Nothing ever would. The days would roll on into the nights, and he would waste his life away in the dreary office chair he had come to call home. A broken home, but a home nonetheless. A place to rest his weary buttocks whenever he needed to pay the mortgage, which was always.
His house was the cheapest in town. Golson always went for the cheapest option, even if this one was in a particularly dreary location. He knew that he wanted to move to France, someday, so he continued saving up his money for it, but someday never came. He continued typing away, doing business errands for his company, and trying to avoid his boss’s malicious stare. McGuterson knew his boss would fire him for even the slightest mistake.
Golson McGuterson was an eccentric fellow. Long ago, he used to be a dancer in New York, well, not that long ago. He had been twenty-three, but, alas, had broken his knee and could no longer perform on the great stages of the world. He still missed ballet, but the devastation took so much of a toll on him that the man never revisited it.
Instead, he just wasted away, growing older each day, and telling himself that he should have deeper conversations with the sparrows outside of his window, at least when no one was watching. He was sad. Sad about losing his passion. It felt like he had lost a piece of himself, a piece of his life, and a piece of his dignity.
He had had a lot of failed relationships. He wanted results when it came to his finances, and so was working a boring day job he hated. He wanted results when it came to women. He was willing to give away his self-respect for women, and groveled for them shamefully. The life he lived was focused solely on outcomes.
One day, his boss arrived to his office. He told McGuterson, that the company was making adjustments, and that he would be laid off. He had a smug smirk on his face as he said it.
Golson McGuterson had expected to feel something if this day ever came. He expected to feel alone, to feel mean, or, at the very least, to feel rejected. The only thing he felt was relief.
“Okay,” He said simply.
He picked up his briefcase and walked out of his office. He would be able to pay his mortgage off by next month. He had a hefty savings account and was not worried about finances. He had enough to support himself for six months. He went to a restaurant that night, and indulged in his favorite cheesecake, cherishing every bite. He took two hours to enjoy his dessert, because he could. He paid the bill, with a decent tip, and drove home.
He then went home, and didn’t look at his computer for the first time in months, because he didn’t have to. Golson McGuterson was a free man. Golson McGuterson went for a long walk in the afternoon, breathing in the fresh air.
The next day, he went to the dog shelter and bought himself a companion. There was an easel with a blank canvas that had remained in his study for nine months now. He painted on it. He painted in the morning, in the afternoons, and in the evenings. He painted as if his life depended on it.
He painted constantly. He found salvation on the canvas. He painted a picture of a fire, with a face hidden somewhere inside it, burning to death. The newspaper that was about to be burned floated right above the fire, held by a very realistic hand throwing it into the flames. He sold it for $3000.
He painted a picture of his estranged wife, Stefanie. She was a beautiful woman: tall and South American women with long, curly black hair. Her deep brown eyes mystified him the way they had when they had been together. He let his heartache out on the canvas. He finished it. He sold it for $5000.
Golson McGuterson painted a total of ten paintings that year. He sold each one. He painted twenty the next year, and thirty after that. Within a few years, Golson McGuterson was not a foolish man groveling for work any longer. He was an artist, a savvy businessman, and a philanthropist. Golson McGuterson was a millionaire. He bought himself a nice house in the South of France and brought his dog with him, painting every bit of light that had creeped into his artistic perspective.
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