The Perception Painter


Danielle Rubin 2017, Skidmore News photographer

Story By: Douglas Patrick ’18, Contributing Writer

"The Perception Painter"

Molly listened as Adam told his friends at his lunch table of his English teacher’s stupidity. Adam had been given a week to write a poem about something he found either particularly beautiful or disturbing. His clumsily peach-fuzzed chin and neck moved dumbly while he explained his taking of a poem off the internet nearly word-for-word. He, then, followed by saying he had received a superior mark on “his work.”

The way he put it, as he pushed his moppy dark hair out of his brown eyes, was “poetry sucks, why should I write more of it for the world to not read?” His friends laughed around Molly while she sat silently. Her arm began to press down more tightly over her light blue covered notebook that laid on the table full of stanzas and rhyme.

. . .

“Ah, yes.” The painter’s face of wisdom glowed while he said his thoughts aloud. A delicate stroke of black is given as his gift to the easel. His canvas stood within a cloudy, white room. On two wooden stands that created a “U” with the easel, were an array of paints; the painter stood between them. On the right side of the painter were beautifully vibrant full containers of blues, purples, yellows, whites, and greens that stood proudly. On the left, half-used containers of dark reds, deceitful blacks, and sad grays awaited their inevitable use. After putting his brush down, he took a small, careful step back and looked upon his work with an expert eye.  Satisfied, he turned to the door and walked out into the pink hallways of Molly’s brain.

. . .

The bell interrupted Adam’s rant on poetry to signal that lunch was over.  The tables of people sprang into action. Molly pulled her backpack up off the floor by its right strap. Halfway through her forceful tug she realized, much too late, that the big pocket was left unzipped and the contents flipped out on to the cafeteria tiles.

Adam heard the splashing of papers and realized what had happened. He walked quickly over to Molly and, while standing over her, asked, “Need any help Molly?”

. . .

The painter stopped in his tracks during his trek down the walkway. “Oh, of course, I must add that!” He thought aloud once more. He rushed to the door he had just shut and threw it open while the block letters that read “Adam” flew past his face while the door flew open. The easel awaited him and he nearly jumped to the bright wooden stand to his right to make his addition. He picked up his brush and dipped it–but the bristles didn’t wet with a light blue. They hit the paint like a wall. The painter tried again and again. The black quills just pushed back up to the handle, refusing to dip into the paint.

. . .

Molly looked up from her gathering of books and loose papers off the floor and into the dark brown eyes of Adam. She replied, “No. I’m perfectly fine without any of your help.” And a confused Adam made no attempt to insist and walked away.

Molly knew one thing for certain, the paint had dried.





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