the tiles are stacked, five deep, in rows around the room. if i unfocus my eyes they become towers, columns of origin unknown, narrowing down the room into a tiny cell-like space. this is what i get for buying them two or three at a time when there’s space on the credit card, and laying them out to measure how many more are needed.
so far there’s still another stack missing, and i need to sell at least another painting to make up the last few lines of tile.
night falls. in the dark liminal space of darkness outside and curtains drawn, lights on, the stacks look menacing – suddenly far more forbidding, edges sharper around the corners. i barely dare move, in case i overbalance and send a stack toppling to the ground. it’d be enough to crack them, and that would require another four paintings that i don’t have.
my mind works faster once the dark has fallen, and i blindly reach for the notebook that sits by my ankle, sketch out a hazy image of the next piece i want to do. there’s still so many paintings and images laid out in my mind; all i really have to do to begin painting them is to visit them in my mind, where they are stored, and begin drawing. admittedly, they take up a large portion of my free mind-space.
the next day, i sell two more paintings.
the last of the tiles are placed in neat rows, and it’s a careful process to secure them one at a time in their places. at last, i’m done, and they have already set. it won’t be much longer now before i can use this room as the studio.
within a week, the paint has spattered and dripped all over the tiles that i picked for their minimal design – the floor is its own work of art, and i hate that my own slightly-careless actions have done this. i’ve always had a tendency to get caught up in painting and never realize what’s happening around me until it’s too late, but this is new.
i’ve left it too long. the paint has already stained the tiles, and no amount of scrubbing will undo it. as i finish cleaning the worst of it off, my mind carries on running, rapidly firing off new ideas.
i lay down the mop and resume drawing.