Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Tragedian

The painter who's currently painting four rooms in our house is a tremendously nice guy, very salt of the earth, and his son works with him, which is also very cool. We've known them for several years, and we'd use them even if they didn't do the best job, just because we like them so much.

[An aside: Gloria is agonizing over different shades of the color we chose for the walls. Today, she went through this five-minute explanation of how one shade would affect the use of another shade in an archway between the living room and the kitchen, and my eyes were glazing over. When she was done, she said, "What do you think?"

"I think that six months from now, if we're not in the house, you can ask me what colors the walls are and I won't be able to tell you," I said.

Her response was a gutteral sound that cannot be reproduced here.]

The painter, though, has a curious quirk: he's the tragedy painter. Two weeks ago, when he came over to talk about the painting, he mentioned that his niece had a miscarriage and that he'd been out of town. He went into detail well past the point where I was hoping he'd stop, but it seemed kind of cathartic for him, so it was okay.

Today, though, in less than five hours of them being in the house (and about twenty minutes of actual conversation), four drownings have been mentioned. Curiously, these events have been discussed in the natural course of conversation, as a sort of flow from one subject to the other.

I'm trying to decide whether I should go put a piece of bread into the toaster, just to see if the discussion turns to electrocution.

I'm not sure how he does it, but the man can paint.

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