The Woman With The Painting


I am a victim of curiosity.

I was on the bus, waiting for it to depart, and not really paying attention to my surroundings. After a week of disinterested reading, I finally found something that held my attention.  It was for that reason, as well as overall tiredness, that I didn’t notice her get on the bus and sit across from me.

I looked up and when I saw her I smiled. Fortunately for my sense of self worth, she smiled back. I am pretty sure that this is always a good sign. I noticed that she was holding a transparent bag containing what appeared to be an art canvas.  She had the front facing her, so I could not see what, if anything, was on the front.  She was holding it carelessly, letting it dangle around her feet.  If it had been a blank canvas, I suspect it would have come in a store branded bag.  See what I mean about curiosity?  You’re wondering what, if anything, was on the other side too.

The bus was full of loud talkers, which is rarely the case when I am on my way home. That isn’t true.  If I am going home late, bar closing late, there tends to be a rowdier crowd, but before eight I expect everyone to be somewhat work weary and contemplative.  Perhaps I am just projecting myself onto others…

As I said, I am a victim of curiosity. I kept looking over at the bag, hoping its graceful dangle would rotate its front in my direction.  Alas, that didn’t seem to be happening.  The bus violently leaped over the uneven road surface, but the face of the canvas stayed away.  The bus veered around construction sites, but still the painting went unrevealed.  No amount of jostling, or even inconsiderate commuters who bumped into the bag while attempting to exit the bus aided in my quest.

Obviously, it was up to me.

When there were fewer passengers on the bus, I made eye contact and said, “Excuse me. I am sorry to bother you, but I was wondering what your paining is of?”  Before you start complaining about my leaving the dangling preposition, and wondering how I can call myself an English teacher, just let it go.  Let it go!

She gracefully showed me the picture. She had painted some birch trees that were shielding a clearing (I want to write glade, but I am unsure if this is the right word).  I am not going to lie and tell you it was a masterpiece and that I discovered the next artist of the century.  I can say, however, that it was pretty good.  The composition was good and the details were fine.  I always think of birch trees as having a texture, and that could have been better.

We did manage to have a short conversation before she had to leave the bus. She told me that she hadn’t painted in a while and she had gone to a “painting event”.   She explained that she had found it incredibly relaxing.  It was at that moment that I realized that she was discovering a lost love.  Her posture changed and her face lit up.  I had no doubt that painting would become a bigger part of her life.

I should have asked her about the painting sooner.


About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in art, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, bus, chance meetings, commuting, conversation, painting, public transportation, risks, taking chances and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Woman With The Painting

  1. Brittany says:

    Curiosity is good. I have heard many wonderful things about painting events, and I want to go to one!

  2. Cool! Definitely worthy of the Perfect Moment posting.
    Passionate wordsmiths need to know so … per M-Webster: glade : an open space surrounded by woods.

  3. Britney says:

    I really like art, but it’s not something I do often. I think the last time was a year ago when I attempted to do a painting. I discovered that maybe painting wasn’t for me after all, although I would like to give it another go. I think my problem was that I only had primary colors, so any secondary colors I wanted to use I had to try to mix myself. I had a bit of trouble with getting the colors right. I enjoy doing oil pastel drawings more. Even though I think I’m not good at drawing at all, I’ve been wanting to try to get back into it. It can be quite relaxing.

    • Anthony says:

      I would say give it another go. That is not to say it has to be your thing, but it might contribute to something else you’re doing. It is great to be good at something (even great, but I didn’t want to repeat my words) but it is also good just to do something that gives you another perspective, another outlet, another part of you.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. Pingback: All the Colours of Red You Know | Today's Perfect Moment

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