Abstract Artist

By Matt Dionne

“What can I get for you?” the bartender asks, sliding a coaster across the bar, coming to a stop directly in front of me. I wonder if he used to curl.

“Miss? Would you like a drink?” he asks again, startling me from my thoughts.

“Scotch. Neat,” I reply, glancing around the room. 

The place isn’t fancy by any means, it’s barely better than a dive bar. The bottles on the top shelf are covered in dust, some of them are impossible to distinguish.

The bartender returns with my drink. I take a sip, slowly. A burst of cold air wafts inside, as the door opens. A young man walks in; he looks like he’s in his early twenties. He has dark, chestnut hair, perfectly cut and styled. His eyes are a bright blue, just my type. He’s wearing tight skinny jeans with holes in the knees, and the collar of his shirt is popped, protruding out from his jacket.

He takes a seat at the bar, removes his jacket, and drapes it over the back of his chair. He leans back and surveys the room. We make eye contact. I give him a look, enticing him to come join me. He smiles, it’s a mischievous grin. He saunters over to my table and takes a seat.

“How’s it going?” he asks.

“Not bad, now that I’m sitting with you,” I reply, flashing him a suggestive grin.

“Can I get you a drink?” he offers, as I finish my scotch.

“Sure. Scotch, neat,” I say, tapping my empty glass. 

He signals for the waitress, who strolls over to the table.

“What can I get you?”

“The lady will have a scotch, and I’ll have an IPA, whatever’s local.”

“Coming right up,” she says, clearing our table and turning to fetch our order.

I look him up and down; he doesn’t look like a beer drinker. Beneath his douchey outfit, I can tell he clearly works out. His biceps are nearly bursting through his shirt, as is his chest.

“So, what’s your name?”

“Rochelle.”

“Rochelle, that’s a dope name. I’m Winston,” he replies. 

I suppress a grimace. What a tool. I think to myself. At least he’s hot, he’ll do for tonight… as long as he doesn’t talk too much.

“So, Winston, what do you do?”

“I’m in sales,” he says, as the waitress returns with our drinks. “What about you?” he asks, taking a sip of his beer.

“I’m in finance.”

“Oh, mysterious,” he replies, flashing a boyish grin.

“It’s actually pretty boring, if I’m being honest. That’s why I’m here, tonight. Drowning my boredom in mediocre scotch.”

“Well, I can think of one activity we could do together that might be fun,” he says, leaning forward, clearly flexing.

I hope you look as good without that shirt on. “Is that so?”

“It is,” he says, staring at me with his baby-blue eyes.

I bet the girls just melt when you look at them like that.

“Do you want to come back to my place?” he asks.

“Actually, I was thinking you could come home with me, it’s just a block away,” I reply, signalling for the waitress to bring us the check.

“Okay, I get it. You want home field advantage,” he says, as the waitress returns with our bill. He reaches for his wallet, but I stop him.

“I got it,” I say, pulling some cash out of my purse and handing it to the waitress. He looks momentarily flustered, but quickly regains his cocky demeanour.

Oh no, did I damage your fragile masculine ego?

“Ready?” I ask, as I put on my jacket.

“After you,” he replies.

A blast of cold air hits us as we step out the doors and into the street. I flag down a nearby cab, and we both hop in the back.

***

“Can I take your coat?” I ask, as he steps through the door into the hallway. I notice him taking in the paintings hanging along the walls.

“These are… interesting,” he says, gesturing towards one near the stairs, “What’s that one called?”

“Travis.”

“What about that one?” he asks, gesturing towards the one at the top of the stairs, a dark red mass in the center of the white canvas.

“Gregory.”

“It’s weird. They’re all named after people, but they aren’t portraits, they’re much more… abstract. Are they all by the same artist?”

“They are,” I reply, “Would you like a glass of wine? Or maybe a scotch?”

“A scotch would be great. On the rocks,” he says, taking a seat on the white leather couch in the living room.

I roll my eyes at his drink request, and turn towards the kitchen. When I return, he has his feet up on the coffee table. You better not leave a smudge, I think to myself. I don’t say anything though. I just smile and hand him his ridiculous drink. Seriously, who drinks scotch with ice?

“So, are you going to give me the tour?” he asks, taking a sip of his drink.

I take a sip of my own unsullied scotch, set it down, and smile. “Follow me,” I respond, taking his hand. As we ascend the stairs, I see him glancing at the other paintings that adorn the walls.

We get to the bedroom. He pulls me into a kiss. His mouth tastes like beer, but aside from that he’s actually quite good. He begins pawing at my dress, fumbling with the zipper.

“Let me help you,” I whisper, pulling my dress down and stepping out of it. “Your turn.”

He smiles and pulls his shirt over his head, revealing a six-pack, and a clean-shaven chest. He clearly manscapes. He grabs my waist and pulls me into another kiss, wrestling my tongue with his own. I pull away and push him onto the bed, removing my underwear.

“What’s your tattoo?” He asks, as he fiddles with his belt, removing his jeans and boxers.

“It’s a black widow,” I reply, checking out his package.

“Huh, looks like a spider to me.”

The dumb ones are always hung like horses.

***

Panting heavily, he rolls off me. “How was that?” he asks.

“Great,” I reply, stroking his chest. I actually mean it too. I wouldn’t mind another round. “You think you can go again?”

“Not tonight, maybe in the morning.”

Too bad. I turn towards my nightstand, as he glances around the room.

“What’s with that painting?” he asks, gesturing towards a canvas on the wall next to the bed. “It’s just blank.”

“That’s because it’s not done yet.”

“Really?” he asks, reaching for his drink.

“Yeah, I think I’m going to call it Winston.”

Copyright© 2020 by Matt Dionne

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