Monday, June 11, 2007

My Dirty Little Secret

I have a shameful weakness. I hide my dirty little secret in an old case that belonged to a man who traveled around Europe looking for work as a painter. My secret fits perfectly, its edges brushing against the sides of the case and blending with the paint splattered in colorful drops like blood dripping from a cut vein or dew pooling in morning tears. My secret fits the sadness that emanates from the case as failed dreams seep from a broken heart. The man, the original owner of the case, only achieved success as a painter of walls, dabbing false flowers to create false visions. His paintings languished in the darkness of the unknown and were buried in obscurity, unappreciated by the mouths he had to feed. Those mouths needed feeding and his soul needed feeding and there was never enough for both.

Potentates from the city clambered for his talent in creating gardens upon their walls, intricate petals and leaves twirling in perfect imitation of nature. He poured his being into their dining rooms and parlors, leaving himself imprinted on their walls, brushing his identity on their living spaces. Once he had demeaned himself for their pennies, he would fill up his empty spaces with beer and schnapps and go home to pour his venom into those gaping, needy holes; worms of worthlessness dropped into those bird-like mouths.

He’d stick around long enough to blanket them in their inherited worthlessness before fleeing to the mountains. He walked and hiked his anguish into those ancient rocks leaving behind that rotten core that spoiled the good things in his life. Once he was clean and fresh and he could breathe again, he would stand in the sunshine and paint. All things forgotten except his brush on canvas. As he covered the canvas, he became whole and he thought he could go on again.

And he did go on again. He created a legacy that repeated itself until his death and from beyond the grave in the behavior of his children who carried on his cycle of anonymous pain and brilliance and chaos and genius and fractured dreams. He created the case in which I lock the fire of my inspiration, hiding it from the air and my consciousness like a dirty little secret.


  1. such beautiful words to describe a tortured soul:)

  2. Interesting story. It would make a good chapter in abook.

  3. I hope the fire of inspiration escapes the case. Very sad.

    I love this passage..."Once he was clean and fresh and he could breathe again, he would stand in the sunshine and paint. All things forgotten except his brush on canvas. As he covered the canvas, he became whole and he thought he could go on again."

  4. That is beautiful. You just spoke to my heart and brought tears to my eyes. MWAH, my dear.

  5. Okay, you have a meserising and compelling opening to a story -- keep going.

  6. John: Thank you. I often think artists should not be allowed to have families.

    Dr. J: Yes, plenty of fodder.

    Gawilli: Improperly channeled passion is such a waste. Thanks.

    Chikky Baby: Oh, thanks, so much. It is sad.

    Quilly: Thanks, I will.

  7. Nessa, you have a real gift/talent here. I read voraciously - and I can tell you - your descriptive phrases are 90 percent better than most I read.

  8. well that was right purdy, Nessa.

    seriously -- this was just a beautiful piece. you paint the plaintive story of a promise detoured by reality with bleak-yet-tender strokes. you've got a lot of talent, my friend -- i sure hope you don't pass on that old case after lining it with scraps of your own genius/unfulfilled dreams to someone else, some day. that, my friend, would be tragic.

    loveloveloved this! xox

  9. all i can say is wow you are one talented lady!!

  10. Wow, I have no idea who you're writing about, but beautiful prose!

  11. This is very powerful and moving. Where will you take it from here?

  12. Jackie: Thank you so much. (I hope you read more than comics; D)

    Neva: Thanks. I am trying not to let that happen.

    Tina: Thank you. That’s saying a lot.

    Mal: Thank you.

    Jenn: Not if I can help it. And live long enough; D

    Pauline: Thanks. I’m working on a short story.

  13. You're damn talented with words. The description in this post made me feel like I had been put right in this tale of dirty little secrets. Well done.

  14. Oh wow, Nessa.
    I went back and read about your blind date, genius, made me giggle. Read about Ann Coulter, made me smirk and then there was this, made me savor and think. You, my dear, have a way with words and its lovely to read your work.

  15. Egan: I appreciate the kind words.

    Diesel: Thanks.

    Logo: Thank you very much.

  16. Great job with that...

    Artists are wonderful, and they create so much beauty. But on a personal level, they can be difficult to deal with.

    Failed artists are on the cusp of insanity.

  17. BTW, it wasn't really a stunt. I really was on vacation. :)

  18. I suppose you know that you write very, very well. *clap clap*

    Nicely done.

  19. Phoenix: I generally don’t want to know an artist’s personal life for the reason. It affects how I look at their art.

    Diesel: Sure, you say that now.

    TLP: I do now. Thanks.

  20. Ok, what can I add? Everyone seems to agree...that happens rarely in the world and if, mostly not sincere. This time it is...that was well written...I´d buy teh book, if it opened with this chapter!

  21. Minka: I will keep your comment for prospective publishers. Thanks.

    Katie: Thanks. I was going for intense.