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the love of (self-) important men…
I once knew a painter. I liked his art.
He made me a present. It was a painting called ‘The Kiss’, and he said it was inspired by us. He gave it to me for my birthday.
Except he asked me to let him show it in an upcoming exhibition. It would be marked as ‘sold’, and I would get it afterwards.
Then he gifted it to me again for another occasion. Maybe Christmas. I should check my journal but I can’t be bothered.
Then he gifted it to me again, I think. I hope you guess what follows. We broke up without me ever actually getting my present.
One day long after our break-up he rang me one Saturday to meet in one of our regular late breakfast places in Hampstead. One of the nice things about being with him were extensive informal weekend morning walks.
He was very friendly and only got around to business shortly before we were ready to leave. He then offered me to hand over the painting or to repay me the £1000 I had lent to him over the time we were together. It was clearly very obvious what I would go for as he had someone at his bank on the phone to make the transfer right there and then.
Before we left, he confided in me that anyway, he had sold the painting to a bank for over £3000.
He must have loved me very much indeed.
He did give me a very dull (compared to the original colours) and tiny print of it. No. 2 or 3 of a run of 100, it’s a bit smudged. The print has the same place of pride in my flat as Picasso’s paintings had at Dora Maar’s place when she died. I seem to remember they were found under her wardrobe.
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