some thoughts on becoming a painter person

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some thoughts on becoming a painter person

when i was a girl i had a hand-me down pair of burgundy corduroys (they were a little

big), and i saved my allowance for months for a ribbed purple turtleneck with a silver

half zipper running up from my flat chest, with a hoop on the end. (if you are of a

certain generation you know the sweater).

i refashioned a heavy oblong gold link chain intended to hold back a curtain into a belt,

and i wore them all together. i thought i was seriously kicking.

when i was at my auntie Bea’s, dressed in  my burgundy, purple, silver and gold, she

said “you clash”. i clash i repeated, “what does it mean to clash”? you don’t go

together, she replied. i don’t go together with what, i asked innocently, increasingly

aware my self estimation as seriously kicking was suspect,. i obviously wasn’t as grown

up as i thought, grown ups never clash, do they?

those were winter clothes and spring arrived with Irises in the garden, some purple,

some burgundy, the green glinted silver in the sun and the yellow striped centre

assumed a golden glow, all of it all together. they didn’t look wrong to me, and i hoped

nobody would extinguish the sun or crush the innocent flowers for their clashing


sometimes during heavy rain i wear all my most colourful clothes and i always seem to

run into Ray and Ray says that from a distance he always thinks there is a colour i am

not wearing, but the up close view proves him wrong. Ray has never once said, “you

clash”. Ray is a painter, and so am i.

penny eisenberg 2016