“So tell me something I don’t know about you Aria?” Alexander leans back in his rich brown leather mid-century chair that I am thinking is an original and not a knock off from Ikea. His whole home screams original. Original artwork. Original furniture. Original sexy. Ooops, looking at his crotch again, sorry...not sorry.
It’s been a few days since our sexual exploration of each other and I am relaxing on the matching leather sofa in his living room. I have been spending a lot of time with him as we get to know each other. Not in the way I really want to get to know him but just talking to each other. Surprisingly, I am enjoying our conversations.
I understand with him I have to take things slow. The more we know about one another I think the more he will open up sexually for me.
“There are many things you don’t know about me Alexander. Anything specific?” I turn and lay on my stomach while pulling myself up on my elbows to look at him. Alexander is twirling the beer bottle in his hand and starting to blush when he glances over at me. My cleavage must be on display. It’s not like I have much of a cleavage but anything sexual causes him to redden. I swear it’s like dealing with a sixteen year old sometimes.
“I don’t know. Anything. It doesn’t have to be deep.” His eyes stay glued to the bottle in his hands as he wipes at the condensation dripping lazily down the amber glass.
“Hmm.” I wonder aloud as I twist so I am laying on my back looking up at the angled white ceiling as I just notice the red Calder mobile hanging down from the center. This place needs to be turned into a museum.
“I hate plaid.” I finally state.
“Plaid? Why plaid?”
“I just think it’s ugly. Especially on clothes. The whole tartan thing in Scotland is okay, but when people start wearing plaid sweaters and, even worse, pants, I have to roll my eyes. Something about it irks me. I can’t explain why, it just is.”
I crane my neck to see Alexander chuckling, his light eyes sparkle from the lighting and merriment.
“What about you Alexander? Tell me something I don’t know about you.”
I turn my head back to watch the mobile turn at a snails pace.
“Okay. Well you will probably find out about this at some point so I might as well tell you now. I met you three years ago and have been watching you from afar since.”
My muscles tense as I take in his words. Rapidly my brain fills with images of three years ago. Where? When? It doesn’t make sense.
Sitting up I swing my legs over until my bare feet hit the soft persian carpet. I look over at Alexander and he appears nervous, his eyes darting around the room. Landing everywhere but on me.
“So, where did we meet? I don’t remember ever meeting you before.”
He sighs and rubs the back of his neck.
“It was early summer, I think late June but I’m not sure. I went to an art opening at the gallery where I bought your painting with a friend of mine, Jared. He has known me since college and is one of the very few people in my life who puts up with my eccentric lifestyle.”
Alexander glances up at me and gives a small smile before returning his gaze to the floor.
“Anyway, Jared would come with me for the free food and wine. He’s not into art, computer gaming is his thing. I think that’s why he puts up with me. He likes to come over and play video games in my media center room. That, and I usually have anything he wants to eat.”
How he said it made me feel a little sad for him. The only way he can get friends is what he can provide for them. I’m wondering if Jared is just using Alexander.
“You were at the exhibit with someone. Some guy. I didn’t like the way he touched you. He seemed overly grabby. I remember a few times you pushing him away as you tried to look at the art. But it was the way you admired the paintings and sculptures that captivated me. You looked like the artwork made you whole. Filled a void. I don’t know, perhaps I was making it out to be more than it was, but you were the first woman that I was utterly attracted to. I don’t mean just physically, but with your entire being. I wanted to be near you.”
I don’t know how to respond to that, so I don’t. I sit there while my eyes drift to the ground and my fingers tug at the sleeves of the simple green wrap dress I am wearing.
“I’m sorry if this is weird. I didn’t say it to scare you off. It’s just who I am. I do things that most people wouldn’t do. Like never go out in the daytime or stalk people for years. Ha. As I say this stuff out loud I am realizing how creepy I sound.”
We sit in silence for a minute before I get up and walk over to his side. I kneel beside him and place my hand on his arm.
“Yes, it is a bit weird Alexander. I’m not going to lie to spare your feelings, but I’m also not going to deny I am feeling a little flattered right now. Is that why you bought my painting? You found out I am an artist and decided to buy my work?”
His eyes widen in surprise as he places the beer bottle on the floor and cups my face in his hands, shaking his head.
“No Aria! Please understand that I really do think you are a brilliant artist. I don’t buy works of art because I like the people who painted them. I collect art because it moves me and I feel connected to it in some way. This may sound corny but your painting spoke to me. I had to have it. I loved your use of heavy, dark oils that are layered and layered on each other in an old world style, but the scene is so modern. That contrast with a hint of frustrated desire, it was like looking in a mirror for me.”
My cheeks ache from my mouth forming the largest grin I have ever made. He gets it. No one seems to understand my paintings. The best I got was Morgana telling me she liked them and thought they were pretty. That was it. I am glad my friends and family enjoy my work but I want someone to notice how I perceive the world through my art.
He understands me. Most people think I’m sort of a ditzy, struggling artist when they look at me, but Alexander can see right through me. It’s uplifting and frightening all at the sametime.
“My father and I don’t really speak anymore. He disowned me when I told him I don’t want to be a lawyer like him. He thought I was studying Pre Law in college, but I was actually studying Art History. When he found out he told me not to come home for the holidays anymore. My mother just sat there and said nothing. I’m their only child and they rather have no daughter at all than one who is happy doing what she loves. He explained I could do art on the side, but any new lawyer will tell you that there is no free time when you first become a lawyer. And even if I did what my father said it wouldn’t be the same. Working on a painting occasionally would never be enough for me. So, I consider myself an orphan as my parents are dead to me.” I blurt out without even thinking.
Alexander lifts me from the floor and places me in his lap as he cradles me in his arms. Damn this man is strong. My back would have gone out if I had tried the same.
I never told anyone about my parents disowning me. Not even Morgana. She just thinks I can’t afford to fly back to San Francisco to visit them. Her parents are nice enough to invite me over for holidays and family dinners, but it doesn’t stop me from missing my own parents.
It feels nice to have someone to talk to about this, to hold me when I feel melancholy. Part of me is thinking I might need Alexander as much as he needs me.
Find out what happens next in THE Bar Fly
Missed the previous post, then check out THE Big Guns
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Payne Posts Menu
63. THE Insane
62. THE Bechmann
61. THE Morning After
60. THE Attack
59. THE Decision
58. THE Emergency
57. THE Welcome Home
56. THE First Day Back
55. THE Strange
54. THE Question
53. THE Crazy B
52. THE Teacher
51. THE Discussion
50. THE Mommy
49. THE Bar Fly
48. THE Watchful Eye
47. THE Big Guns
46. THE Never
45. THE Feast
44. THE Bathroom Threesome
43. THE Pee Pee
42. THE Fine
41. THE Shirt Attack
40. THE Police Song
39. THE Discovery
38. THE Pull
37. THE Aria Show
36. THE Switch Up
35. THE Delivery
34. THE Scheme
33. THE Drink
32. THE Uncomfortable Silence
31. THE Online Experience
30. THE Same Old Shi
29. THE Talk
28. THE Drunk Dial
27. THE Birthday
26. THE Meeting
25. THE New Job
24. THE Disagreement
23. THE Big Movie
22. THE Sleepover
21. THE Club
20. THE Leave
19. THE Beggar
18. THE Confrontation
17. THE Jackoff
16. THE Bathroom
15. THE Joint
14. THE Let Down
13. THE Truce
12. THE Phone Call
11. THE Assistant
10. THE New Year
9. THE Payneful Reminder
8. THE Holiday Party
7. THE Zipper Incident
6. THE Cake
5. THE Incident
4. THE Paperwork
3. THE Letter
2. THE After Effects
1. THE Interview