I am seeking sponsorship by a very rich person, famous or not. I am willing to give up a third of my collection for $5,465.00. I need to take my wife on a Pacific Coast Highway trip to inspire in her a near future move out of this cold, condemning Hell of upstate New York. I have a lot of paintings. This will be a good investment, for I am told by my minor gossip mother that my minor millionaire uncle just spent the same sum on window treatments for a couple rooms in his downstairs living area. Now, I haven’t seen these window treatments, but I am sure they are uplifting. Every time he walks by them he must see my aunt in a new light, making her skin smoother, her step easier, and his lustful advances feel almost semi-successful. It is the power of a well rendered window treatment, as any minor millionaire in America knows, to take old lovers on a stroll down memory lane and inspire them to court life and loving once again. Not that my paintings can compare to drapery stitched by unhappy maidens in the Philippines, or wood blinds hand crafted in a Brazilian sweatshop. Yet unlike glorious window treatments, automobiles that rust, and relationships fed on money and not enthusiasm, a third of my present archive will not depreciate. And, as added bonus, one can have revolving decoration throughout the home for a lifetime. The truth is, anyone rich enough to spend nearly six grand on my paintings, most likely can afford the window treatments too. So nothing lost and much gained.
So millionaires. Thousandaires even… Let’s invest in Throop, the greatest fool who has ever hoped. I see Rose and I riding free and easy down the Pacific Coast Highway on a bright blue May morning. I have worked all year in my glum studio singing praises of love, laughter, and romance. I tell you sometimes it took what amounted to pulling rusty shrapnel out of my soft tissue to achieve those praises, but I managed, every time. Rose has a riding scarf on, and sunglasses. I look how Kurt Vonnegut must have felt the day he got his first royalty check for writing misanthropic literature. Proud.
We stop in Monterey and I hawk my unframed paintings along the roadside of Veteran’s Park. A lady with a dog buys one. That means for once, I got lunch covered. After the second glass of wine, Rose agrees to a move out west. “We’ll do it,” she says. “God Ron, you just sold one of your paintings in the street.”
“I know. And she said she’ll hang it prominently as soon as the interior decorators are finished sizing her blinds.”
We drive down the road and lay up for the night in the parking lot of Nepenthe Restaurant, after doing this on the bar’s dance floor. Tomorrow we will hike down the path to pay homage to Henry Miller, say a prayer for the millionaire lady walking her dog, praise the Gold Rush for stealing California, and then fall asleep on a cliff edge dreaming eternity.
All that from Google Maps. Damn the American Window Treatment!