The painting shown above was done over a year ago. I didn't like it as I finished it and I don't like it now, so I left it to fend for itself, never collecting it from the exhibition it was part of. This morning I took the long route to work, taking me past the exhibition building, inevitably leading me to wonder at the picture's fate.
As I walked across the front, I imagined finding it discarded out the back, perhaps a corner poking out from the bins. As I walked past the side, I actually saw the painting leant up against the bins. I wasn't really upset, more surprised - mildly freaked out - that my premonition had happened. Was this odd timing, or had it just been there for months?
I went to look and see what state it was in. Brixton is similar to India in that you can't pause for long before a stranger approaches, and as I was considering weather to leave or reclaim it, a sprightly elderly woman joined me. There was a second abandoned canvas, but she pointed at mine and declared it to be the better. My fragile ego will take any praise, so I admitted responsibility and after a brief chat - she was French, which explained her style and her laughter at my adopted name, and she'd lived in Brixton for 25 years, in a large house close enough for her to point to.
I offered her the painting. A relief to get rid of it. Her walls were full of art but she'd find some room, she promised. She seemed pleased and it solved the problem of what I would do with it. I'm happy I'll never have to look at it or see it again, yet I do like the idea that it lives on. Even if it becomes a joke, the painting that no-one likes, at least it lives. That's pretty much all the vast majority of us aspire to, isn't it; just keep alive, for as long as possible.
I'll probably walk past her house in a year or two and rescue it from the bins again.