Martha-The Rewrite Chapter Fifty Nine
The curvy arse women have been replaced with 4 new paintings. I don’t like them as much. One of them is an earnest portrait of an older man. The curvy women said something, they showed their pain, vulnerability, whilst this bloke just looks a bit smug. The other three paintings are furious abstracts by three different people but they have been placed together I guess as they all have the same wavy chaos. They are all up for a lot of money, between 3 and 6 thousand pounds. I might not care for them much but I wouldn’t mind a chunk of the commision on them. Martin said that they had a big event at the weekend and so he is hopeful that people would come back and buy this week if they hadn’t at the weekend. I should have asked him why I wasn’t invited. I’m his top salesperson for fucks sake.I wonder if Gemma went? Is she allowed to be involved with that kind of stuff? Unlikely. The fact that there was most likely a free bar is why neither of us got the call. Today I am wearing a long flowery dress that Sash says makes me look taller, which isn’t saying much. I didn’t have any booze to leave the house today. Honestly, it didn’t occur to me until I was nearly at the gallery. I floated down the main street, this billowy dress having a good old billow and everything felt just ok, which is a long way from the usual blind panic and the feeling that you are being sucked down a plughole. My mind is very active, churning a lot of stuff over, like my head is on a long white wash. I want to book the holiday, I don’t want Sash to feel let down, the Spain shit has confused everything, I don’t want to upset mum. I don’t even want to go and see dad’s shitty legacy. I hope we can just sell it and move the fuck on. But I already know that mum has this fucking stupid romantic ideal about having a place abroad so that she can go down bingo and drop ‘my place in Spain’ into every single fucking conversation.
I feel very skittish this afternoon and have been pacing up and down the gallery. I seem to have a lot of energy from somewhere. Maybe spoons breakfasts are the true elixir of life, I mean who knows? I hear the door go and as I turn, a man in his fifties walks in. He is short and I feel almost like his equal in that respect. He walks slowly through the space, he hasn’t noticed me yet. I stand still and he walks almost right up to me and then turns and smiles, as if he knew I was there all along.
“I like your dress.” He says this so gently, it’s like a summer breeze on my ears.
“Thank you,” I say. He isn’t creepy, I think he just actually likes my dress. We are stood looking at the painting of the smug man.
“I think he looks smug,” I say, for some fucking reason.
“Yes, he is a bit, isn't he?” He pauses, still looking at the painting.
“It is a lovely painting nonetheless,” he continues.
“Yes it is,” I lie. I still don’t like it.
“Do you know much about the artist?”
“No, this only came in recently.” I feel a bit silly. He nods slowly, looking up at the picture. He has a light blue jacket that looks dead expensive, in fact everything about him looks expensive.
“Your jacket is lovely.” He smooths down his arm and smiles.
“Thank you,” he beams. His eyes that sit behind tiny wire rimmed glasses have a sparkle. He looks back up at the painting, his head on one side slightly. He turns back to me.
“Well, you clearly hate this painting, which is not the usual way of selling art but you know, I might just buy it to spite you.” He smiles a massive broad smile, his hands clasped in front of him. I laugh.
“Well Monty, if you want to spend £4500 to spite me then that is just fine.”
“Well, that’s settled then.” He rubs his hands together.
“Oh, were you serious?” Now he laughs.
“Oh my dear, I never joke about art!” He laughs even louder, I laugh too, I mean, why not? I like Monty, he’s all weird and alive.
“I think we should have a drink to celebrate…”
“Oh, Martha, I’m Martha.”
“Ok then Martha, let’s have that bloody drink!”
“There’s some wine out the back?”
“Perfect!” Monty follows me back across the space and I go into the kitchen and get us a couple of glasses of what is today, Chardonnay, which is disappointing.
“So, I have this huge wall which is literally begging for something...and yes, he looks smug, so fucking what Martha? He looks beautiful, don’t you see, I actually saw him at the weekend , at the do they had, awful night but he has stayed with me ever since.”
“Why was the night awful?”
“Oh just full of not my type of people, wankers I suppose. You see Martha, you’re not a wanker, I knew straight away.” I guess that might be the best compliment I get today, not a wanker. We’re back looking at the painting after a couple of glasses. I now know that Monty has a big house, a flat in London and his husband left him for a younger man.I know this because he talks incessantly. His voice has an excellent rhythm and my ears happily let him in. I want to know how he seemingly has so much money but I guess it’s rude to ask. Maybe after another glass. I’ve texted Martin and he’s on his way to seal the deal. I have been trying to work out what my commission will be on this but I am totally shit at maths. I think it might be £45. Or a million, I really am that bad.
“Monty, if you like the damn picture, then fuck what I think, ok?”
“Oh I do, my dear, your thoughts on the matter are entirely fucked.” We clink glasses and drink some more.
“That dress Martha, it is amazing, so…billowy.”