By W.R. Jones

    The trip was not going that well.  I was living out of my camper and every night was cold.  The first night was down to 20 degrees, the next 18, and then a warming trend to 23.  I was traveling with my imaginary girlfriends Trixie and Bubbles; I like slender women so they look like Olive Oil and Twiggy (with big boobs, of course).  Thus even sandwiched between them I wasn’t noticeably warmer.  I think for future trips I will imagine a somewhat more substantial woman.  I’ll call her Winter Blanket.

    I was struggling with the painting even by my very loose “study” standards.  I could not get an image that remotely looked like what I was seeing.  I normally use 6″x8″ panels for plein air as I am a slow painter.  When things are going south even this size seems like a mural for the Washington Monument.  I was considering cutting the size in half and painting a single rock.

    After being so cold for the fourth night in a row I decided to get a hotel room.  The hotel I picked had 150 painters booked for a week.  I guess 100 were there for a workshop and 50 were plein air painters who had gathered to paint as a group but with no instructors.

    I was in the hotel dining room having cereal when I noticed a group of 4 ladies at the table next to mine.  A fifth woman was standing over the table with a 9″x12″ plein air piece.  It was beautiful.  I got up to get a cup of coffee and was standing by the machine when one of the women from that table bumped into me.  I commented on how good I thought that painting was.  She said thanks; it was her painting and she had just sold it to the woman standing over the table.  She said it paid for her whole weeks trip.  

    My knees went watery; I was surprised they didn’t buckle.  The color drained from my face.  It couldn’t drain from my hair as it is all white now…  Hold on, white is a color.  If I could get that to drain I’d have black hair.  NOTE to SELF – seek social situation causing color to drain from hair.  Good place to start might be church.  If they talk about my chances of going to hell, that should do the trick.

    I hung my head and said something like, “goody”, then went back to my table.  I sat there steaming with envy.  If you watch any TV at all, and you know damn well you do, you have heard about cortisol.  Stress causes levels of cortisol to rise.  This stuff is corrosive to the arteries and makes you fat as well.  It is not your fault though.  It has also been linked to runny nose. 

    What I’m going to say next may seem childish or even criminal.  I consider it self defense.  My attorney, who just left, said I could plead self defense but he thought, given my history, insanity was a lock.  To reduce the skyrocketing levels of cortisol I had to slash her tires.

    The logistics of this exercise was daunting as I did not know which car was hers.  So I did every car in the parking lot.  I used my camper as a marker then did them all.  I got a bit carried away with the task and slashed my own before I realized I was finished.   Still, there is satisfaction in a job well done.  Now my cortisol is back to a normal level.  Turns out her car was parked across the street.  What the hell.

    With my tires flat I elected to paint in my room.  I thought it could still be considered plein air if I opened the window (or maybe plain air or at least plane air – given the flat surface of a window).  Also, I was painting an orange which is associated with the outdoors.  I had to close the window after awhile; wow, there was some bad language out in that parking lot.

    With my knowledge of CSI I cut the orange with the knive I used on the tires.  I think the acid will remove any trace of tire rubber, don’t you?   I wiped my finger prints off the knife as well.  This might have been a waste of time as the knife is in my possession and has my name engraved on it.

    If my lawyer is any good at all, I will be out of here shortly and back to plein air painting.  You have to get right back on that horse that kicked the shit out of you.

This entry was posted in Humor, Landscape, On Suffering, Painting, Plein Air. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Envy

  1. Rick Nilson says:

    I did a 9″X12″ painting once. I’ll bet that bitch that sold the painting copied mine! If it bothered you, how do you think I feel? Did the painting look anything like tuna fish?

  2. wrjones says:

    Well, sort of, Rick. It looked like a tuna roll next to a bottle of Kirin. Is that yours?

  3. Carol King says:

    Cortisol, Estrogen, testosterone…..you should be a biologist, not an engineer.

    I like this painting. The orange looks yummy.

  4. Smart to slash your own tires. That will draw all suspicion away from you.
    The painting looks good to me Bill. Like the lines of the table top and the said knife.

  5. wrjones says:

    Well, Carol, I am a doctor. Shssssh – I don’t have a license.

    Thanks, Frank. I cut my own tires because I’m an idiot and lost count of how many cars I had done. I found it a challange to cut tires and count the cars on my fingers.

  6. Aside from the envy and resulting cortisol overload it sounds like a fun trip. Especially the freezing part. Camping is so fun.

    You didn’t mention where this was. Of course you probably don’t want to for liability reasons, but I’m curious.

  7. wrjones says:

    It was Taos, NM, Diana. Camping is fun? I only did it because I started the trip with -500$ in the checkbook. I like an upscale hotel room whenever possible. It is not that I’m a wuss, I will rough it when necessary. For example I sometimes use the same towel twice.

    This trip had all the joys of camping alright. Sunburn, ant bit, thorn stuck, wind blown, cold, and topped off with bad paintings. Yup, it was fun for sure.

    I did sumble upon a helpful way to say warm at night. I taped those bags of heat that skiers, etc., use to the bottom of my feet. It really worked.

    I’m looking for a sugar mama to cover my expenses in the better neighborhoods. I can see myself painting azales from the veranda of a fine hotel while sipping from a large glass of wine. A little painting, a little napping by the fire place.

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