05 The Old Gentleman

… My lips curl upwards as well and I get up, realizing the amount of time that I had spent watching. But then I see an old gentleman approach the painter, take an inquisitive look at the paintings, and ask curiously, “Are these your paintings?”

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“Are these your paintings?”

I look up and see an old gentleman, his eyes enquiring. “Yes they are mine.”

“You have great talent.” He gestures at the works beside me. “These are marvellous pieces. Masterpieces.”

“Why, thank you.”

He looks at me intently. “I do not kid you, son. I know a fine work when I see one.” He becomes lost in thought for a moment. “You know, I have a boy. 12 years old. He loves to play with brushes and he often fools around with paints and colours. But I believe he needs a teacher.”

He gives me a significant glance. “I would like to know if you would lean towards the opportunity of teaching my son the ways of art. The pay will be good.”

He glances at me and then at my paintings. “I’ll buy those paintings too, if you want. Are they for sale? Well, whether or not you agree to teach my son, I’m still very much willing to buy them. Actually, I really want to buy them.”

My jaw must have been hanging open during the entire expanse of his discourse. I jump up and try to regain composure. I respond, “Why, thank you. Thank you very much. Is that so? Why, that is a great opportunity.”

But I cannot hide my excitement as I continue, “Yes it is a great, great, great opportunity. I would be honoured to be your son’s teacher. And I would be honoured as well to have my paintings hang in the walls of your house.”

Oh, how my eyes are lighting up. Oh, how the corners of my mouth go from ear to ear.

The old gentleman returns my smile. There is life in his eyes and I know that he is sincere. He gives me a firm handshake and holds my gaze steadily with his twinkling eyes.

“Bring those paintings to my house next weekend. I’ll be sure to give you an honourable sum by then. And by that time, my son will be prepared to meet his new teacher.”

I give a grateful bow. I watch as he walks off to wherever he is walking off to. I am grateful, grateful, grateful.

I cannot explain the range of emotions that I am feeling. Here and now, I am starting to see the realizations of my dreams. Someone is willing to pay a sum for my paintings. Someone is willing to let me teach his son. Someone is willing to let me pass on this craft, and see how it can be brought to the next level.

I’ve spent two years in this park bench. Faithfully painting away. And now, a door – an opportunity – is right before me. This could be the start of something new. This is the start of something new.

This is the start of something new.

I pack up my brushes, my paintings – oh, they would be hung up in the walls of a gentleman’s house next weekend – take my materials and bid this place goodbye. Sure, I might return to this place from time to time. But next weekend, I’ll be stepping into a higher ground.

I’ll be stepping into a higher ground. I just know it.

I start walking.

I’m moving forward.

I’m finally moving forward.

>>> (Back to Painting Four)

>>> The Writer

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