Treehouse Adventures Episode 2: The Artist and the Flies

Posted: 7 May, 2011 in Daily Droppings, Other
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Flies. They had descended upon the house over the past few days as though set upon invasion. Mike, the artist who lived in that studio sun room on the roof, stalked through the living room with a giant yellow swatter shirtless and barefoot, with that towel he used for cleaning paintbrushes tied bandana style around his head. Sweat (or was it bacon grease?), dripped down his face. He crouched behind the sofa like he was on some fucking African safari (I suppose some that some part of his addled brain never left Tanzania).

—HA! he screamed and leapt across the room, crying for insect blood. The ugly swatter landed against the window with a THWACK!

—Gottim! said Mike and lifted the swatter, but alas, no fly.

—Grr… It’s too fucking hot in here, that’s what, he explained to us —We need to chill the place down. They can’t fly so fast when it’s colder.

No reaction from the room. We could probably put up with this for a few more days before the real griping started up. Austin, the damned imperialist anglophile that he was, lay on the couch, ignoring him and reading the latest edition of Queen and Country, while his girlfriend glowered at him from the other end, growing increasingly jealous of a black and white sketch of a fictional woman.

—If they’re really bothering you all that much, Mike, why don’t you just get some fly paper or something, I suggested.
I’ve never really understood what it means to round on someone, but Mike did it somehow. —Because that’s boring! That’s not hunting!

I could smell the turpentine from the towel and briefly mused about whether he might be using lead based paints up there.

—It’s trapping. Kinda similar, I argued.

Looking into his eyes, I could only see my glassy reflection. I had seen this look on him before, when I had stopped by his studio room to find him in the depths of a painting binge. The fumes from the oils and whatever else he was using reeked to high heaven and there was this undercurrent of something else as well, like rotten eggs. He’d have a brush in each hand, and one in his teeth, painting on two canvasses simultaneously and he appeared to be sweating in colour.
At this point I knew better. There was no purpose communicating with him in the beyond or wherever that world of artistic inspiration existed.

—Bah! I’m gonna squish them up real good and use them for my painting.

He stomped into the kitchen and marked another kill on the wall.

—Hey! I protested —You missed that one

—What? he asked.

I shook my head for no one in particular —Never mind.

Clearly I had been here too long. The heat must be getting to my brain.

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