His leather shoes on the marble floor, moving in long smooth strides. She is upstairs, in the contemporary wing of the museum. He longs to be with her. He enters, eyes cast downward, the paintings on either side, a blur. He finds his exact placement on the bench, only then does he look up, taking all of her in at once. Feelings rush through him. His back straight, dark suit perfectly aligned, uncreased, but soon he will yield, and be unaware of his posture. A stillness within him, he only feels when he is with her. She doesn’t turn to look at him, she never does, maybe that is why he forever longs for her “ just turn and look at me”. She is captured, still, and hanging, a moment in time, yet somehow, she represents everything to him.
He knows many women, is continually dating, but no matter how pretty or clever, he feels nothing. With her, he feels it would be different “I know I could love her”. Walking down the street, the sight of a woman, in a pale trench-coat, or white dress, dark hair pinned up, makes him gasp, “one day, one of these women will turn around and it will be her”.
He knows his affection is odd, he once forced himself to stay away. Shaky and uneasy, after three weeks he took out the postcard of her, bought to help him if it became too much to endure, but when he looked at it, it wasn’t the same, it was just color on paper, nice, but didn’t make him feel anything. “What if this feeling is gone?” He rushed to her, emotions once again crashed over him, then calmness. Something about the paint on the canvas, the thickness, overlapping colors, the way light hits it, presses parts of his soul, and sings, in the picture, and through him. He can’t touch her, can’t run his hands over her surface, but he can stand really close, her form becoming thousands of dots, then walk slowly backward, to see at what moment, streaks of color become a woman. He doesn’t try to understand what it is that strikes him so. He needs to see her, to feed this hope, “that somewhere there exists a woman I can love.”. If he stopped feeling this way about her, then he would feel this way, about no one.
He wonders how long he can hold onto this feeling of hope, that he can be like other people, can love. Will he just give up someday, feel he was crazy, foolish, to waste his time staring at a painting, believing it could hold some clue, to a possible future? His dream, a vision of one day, holding the hand of a woman, who makes him feel the way this picture does, wondering if he will ever have the courage to tell her, he fell in love with her a long time ago through a painting.
Taffiny blogs HERE at To Taste a Peach