I always wanted to know where he lived, but I never really found out.
Metaphorically, at one point, I think I knew.
Now? Not really. (Okay, that's a lie. I know metaphorically. I know all too well.)
And so, in order to fight off the ennui and the what ifs, I went with the Home Improvement Ninja to look at paintings and perhaps buy one (homelessness be damned. At least I'll have art!).
I walked into a room and there it was.
It (the painting) was not of the artist's usual color palette or subject matter. I always like it when an artist departs from (in this case) his comfort zone and begins to explore and anticipate what's about to happen next creatively. It's a great moment to see--and I'd like to think I have this very moment on canvas for this particular artist.
But my first view was blocked. This man was leaning in front the painting, the one of the soldier that I wanted to call mine.
Then he--the man-- excused himself and walked out of the room.
I could then engage with the painting of this soldier from times past with his sword pointed downward, his expression angsty or is it grief? Perhaps he is rendering his enemy lifeless. Or perhaps he is about to sheathe his sword to end this bloody battle. I don't know.
I've made this soldier a Confederate. I don't know why. It's a strange painting for me to have, perhaps, but I am nothing if not dichotomous. I am related by blood to the man who killed Lincoln after all. I guess I've got more of that South in me than the Italian boys from New Jersey who pledged Kappa Alpha and screamed "The South will rise again (?) " while drunk on a fraternity porch on a Wednesday night. College. Indeed. The South. It has risen again, in me.
After I spoke to the artist who felt he needed to tell me he had no connection to the confederacy, I smiled and laid claim to my painting.
Then I ran into him again, the man who stood in my way. He acknowledged my presence and we spoke in a group with other people for a while. And of course, I can remember everyone else's name, but his. And, of course, he's the one I want to meet again.
So I ask the Home Improvement Ninja to do this one thing for me (and I encourage you readers to push him) and find the name of the man who got in my way. He really seemed like someone worth getting to know. (Or at least have a harmless crush on for a while.)