Tamarind and I walked the produce section of Ralph’s. I stopped to check the ripeness of the Radicchio.
‘I need a painter,’ she said as she squeezed melons.
I watched her meticulously unpack and then restock cantaloupes out of the bin, but made no decision. She didn’t find the ripeness she was on a quest for.
‘Mathias will do it.’ The Radicchio looked fine. I mean how do you even really tell the difference anyway? Must be a color thing. Outside of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes and basic table veggies, I really haven’t a clue.
‘I need my apartment painted.’
‘Oh, he’s not that kind of painter.’ I looked over the herbs and spices. I don’t know. What am I doing? All the sudden I was overwhelmed with everything in the store. Where does all this go if nobody buys it? Right in the garbage, I presume. What a waste.
‘Oh? I see he’s a painter painter?’ Now she was on to the bananas. She took a combo of half-green and half-yellow. Smart move.
‘Yeah but not a paInter’s painter.’
‘So like a man’s man painter, canvases? Like a gay painter.’
That threw me, ‘No not gay, but angry and edgy. Does oil paintings. Like most artists. a self-centered prick.”
‘Is he a drug addict, an alcoholic? Any redeeming damage that would spell talent?’
‘No. He’s very green, still lives at home. Paints still life stuff, country cottage shit, but with a twist.’
‘What possible twist could make those Kincadian abortions palatable?’
‘Whoa! Easy! He paints them with military scenes, foot soldiers & drones. Like, circling the cottages and bombing them. It’s kind of cool.’ I picked up a bag of lettuce, “pre-washed” it said, with what? Did some guy squirt it with a garden hose while it’s in the picking basket? Did it get sprayed with reclaimed water on a conveyor belt? While all this spun in my head.
‘Oh my god! No way!” She squealed. She picked up a watermelon. Can’t check that for ripeness. Or can you? She tossed it in the cart, smashing the bananas.
‘Fuck it! I want him to paint that scene on my living room fucking wall!’ A young hippie(ish) mom quickly covered her son’s ears and shushed her. She waved her off, ‘are you kidding that is unique and cool as fuck!’
‘On canvas or on the bare wall?’
‘What’s the difference?’ Tamarind was now just throwing things in the cart, grapes, mangoes, obviously, she no longer focused or cares about freshness or ripeness. She was obsessing on the “Kincade” cottage explosion scenes.
‘Well there’s a big difference, if he puts it on a canvas at least you can take it with you when you move.’
‘Oh yeah. I want a canvas. Definitely’ she said simultaneously squeezing peaches. I picked up a plastic box of spinach. “Organic,” it said. Was it? Was anything organic? Isn’t there carcinogens free-floating everywhere at this point? But that wouldn’t have to do with organically grown I guess. I placed it in the cart.
‘How big is the wall.’ Seriously who would want to put a whole scene of an apocalyptic Kincaid on their wall? Maybe I can make a commission if I get him to paint it?
‘Oh like,’ she spread her arms across and up and down.
‘That’s like 8×10 feet. You’re talking like thousands and thousands of dollars.’
‘I don’t care call him!’ I decided it best to give her the number directly. I don’t need a commission. They’ll both have to fight it out.