A Week in June: Part 17

After the painting session has finished, the two settle down, beer in hand, to watch the England v Wales football match, which is now in its final moments.

 

Angelica:

Looks like your boys have let you down. That will

Teach you to bet against the mighty Wales.

 

Jacob:

Because they parked the bus, jammy buggers.

 

Angelica:

A well earned point I’d say, I’d rather we

Top the group than lose to England.

 

Jacob:

Hold on, here comes Sturridge …  one last chance … Yeeeessss!!!

 

Jacob leaps into the air and jumps around the room.

 

Angelica:

A gentleman would shake the lady’s hand

Before celebrating like a numbnut.

 

Jacob:

Bollocks to that! It’s not as if England

Will win the bloody thing, but my bet won!

 

Angelica:

What’s that? Your round? How generous!

A fine bottle of wine will cheer me up.

None of that crap from the supermarket.

 

Jacob sits down again and shrugs his shoulders, but quickly gets up again.

 

Jacob:

A compromise. I’ll buy an Austrian

Gruner Veltiner from that restaurant,

Maybe you can run me a bubble bath?

 

Angelica:

Can I climb in as well? How sensual!

But not until much later on, OK?

 

Jacob:

OK! Oh, by the way, I should have said,

I’m most impressed by your website. I love

Your paintings of forests. Eve and I went

Walking through the woods last autumn, past the

Changing colours, pheasants, the little streams

With craggly oaks on either side, it was

So magical. I was so ignorant

Of modern art, I didn’t know that you

Were so … I noticed you like drawing lots

Of nudes. Strange, for someone who’s celibate!

 

Angelica:

Maybe. Nudes make lots of money, you know.

 

Jacob:

Then why bother drawing me with clothes on?

 

Angelica:

No reason, just want to make sure you’re not

Embarrassed by being naked in front of me.

As a painter, erotic is the most

Spiritual of themes. If the body

Is a gift of The One, erotic art’s

The union of spirits in wedlock.

 

Jacob:

All that Tantric mumbo jumbo is beyond me.

 

Angelica:

Now now, I get lots of commissions from

Galleries for mystical art. And as

It’s a subject most dear to me, so don’t

Mock it like a sceptic! Typical man.

 

Angelica mockingly slaps Jacob.

 

Jacob:

Will I get to go to lots of parties,

You know, opening nights and stuff?

 

Angelica:

Yeah, I get a lot of invites.

 

Jacob:

Then I’ll forget that it’s nonsense and have

A lot of fun.

 

Angelica frowns, but one look at Jacob and it turns back into a smile.

 

Angelica:

Have it your way … I’ll just get my easel

Prepared, while you go out and buy that wine.

The restaurant should be open by now.

 

Jacob:

You’re right, at five, OK, I’ll be right back.

 

Angelica gives Jacob a spare set of keys. He goes out of the studio, gets some money out from the bank and goes into the restaurant to buy a bottle of wine and a cake.

 

 

Jacob gets back to the studio, puts the cake in the fridge and brings the bottle of wine upstairs. Angelica hands Jacob a wine chiller, in which he places the bottle, and gives him a big kiss and cuddle to thank him. Inside, a table is arranged, decorated with a richly sewn tablecloth, cutlery and flowers.

 

Angelica: Now, before we drink it, sit down at the table. I want to draw a romantic dinner scene from my point of view.

 

Jacob:

Oh I see now, I thought … how imaginative.

 

Jacob sits down at the table, following Angelica’s instructions.

 

Angelica:

Now, sit perfectly still … move the bottle

To your left arm slightly … Move your arm to

The right, till it covers … splendid, now look

At me … turn your head a little … that’s it!

Never have I seen eyes so … fixated.

 

Angelica starts to draw Jacob, focusing on the face first.

 

Angelica:

You’re free to move your neck, but stay focused.

I’ll put some music on. Not Bolero,

Robert Schumann’s Fantasy will suffice.

 

Jacob:

How romantic. I’ve heard bits and pieces

Of it, but never the whole of the work.

 

Angelica plays the Schumann piece on the CD player.

 

Angelica:

It’s my favourite piece ever composed.

For me it’s like the peak of one artist’s

Love for someone through tone and melody.

You know, the marriage was forbidden by

Clara’s father, but still Robert found his

Way to her heart through some secret coding

In his music. I often think that he

Became famous only because of her.

 

Jacob:

Are you thinking the same?

 

Angelica:

I’m already famous.

 

Jacob:

That’s fair enough.

 

Angelica:

But you’ll make me one of the best ever,

My little muse.

 

Jacob:

That’s grand, but what do I get out of it?

 

Angelica:

I know what your thinking. Money, groupies,

TV contracts. That may well come. All I

Offer is my unconditional love.

 

Jacob:

In that case I offer mine in return.

 

Angelica:

I know, I felt it yesterday, when in

Angie’s office. It was such a unique,

Startling experience. I don’t know if

You felt the same, but I felt a crisp pain …

I didn’t see or hear you for seconds, it was blurry,

Or … something else, a flash, like a warning.

 

Jacob:

I felt something like that …

 

Angelica:

Something divine?

 

Jacob:

Come now, I wouldn’t go that far! Maybe

Just a migraine, or a sudden shock at

Being in your presence, but God? Nonsense,

 

Angelica:

Don’t be so rational. What did you hear?

 

Jacob:

No voice, as if the Lord could talk.

 

Angelica:

You heard something?

 

Jacob:

Well, yeah, maybe. Just … harmonies.

 

Angelica:

Wow, that’s so cool! Had you heard them before?

 

Jacob:

Yes, I had, ‘O Willow Waly’, in my

Head all day for no reason, must have heard

It in a film. How can I hear something?

 

Angelica:

You’re silly by rejecting it, Because

I heard it too.

 

Jacob:

Naturally, we like the same music.

 

Angelica:

No, not that. it was like music beyond …

I doubt if a human created it.

 

Jacob:

How can you be so sure?

 

Angelica:

Because I heard it all again today,

When I kissed you.

 

Jacob:

Then let me kiss …

 

Angelica:

No, stay! I’m not finished.

 

Jacob:

But I didn’t hear it.

 

Angelica:

You’ve been punished. For betting on horses.

 

Jacob:

Oh, now I’ve heard it all! And for football?

 

Angelica:

Football involves humans, not animals.

The One didn’t create horses for men

To sit on them and have them break their necks

Hocks and tendons falling from spruce and birch.

 

Jacob:

You know, when I bet on a horse which falls

And gets injured, I always feel guilty

And nauseous.

 

Angelica:

Feeling guilt is a start.

 

Jacob:

Which reminds me. Which horse won the Gold Cup?

 

Angelica:

As if I’d know! Erm, come to think of it,

I did hear on the radio when you

Were out, something George, I can’t remember.

 

Jacob:

Blast! I was going to bet on that one.

 

Angelica:

You won on the football.

 

Jacob:

That’s not the point.

 

Angelica puts down her drawing equipment walks out from behind her canvas.

 

Angelica:

I still have to draw the finer details.

 

Jacob:

Can you show me?

 

Angelica:

Once it’s complete.

 

Jacob:

Spoilsport.

 

Angelica:

It’ll be a surprize. Now, help me pack

This stuff away, and we can have a glass

Of wine together. Then I can put the pizzas on.

 

Jacob helps Angelica packs her easel away, pours a glass of wine for each of them, places them on the table, and takes Jacob’s hand.

 

Jacob:

Sorry for mocking you, I’m glad you’re mystical!

 

Angelica:

No need to be sorry. You’ll see, in time.

 

They pick their glasses up and clink them, gazing into each other’s eyes.

 

Angelica:

A toast to your health. Cheers!

 

Jacob:

Cheers, bottoms up!

 

They both sip their glasses, giggling.

 

 

Jacob:

On a serious note … what meeting do

You have planned this weekend?

 

Angelica:

Oh that, a commission With Tate Modern,

For an exhibition. They’re planning to

Display a series of erotic nudes

And now want me to contribute to it.

 

Jacob:

That’s brilliant! Angie said there might be

Some nude posing, I see what she means now.

 

Angelica:

Imagine, those horny art school students

Ogling at your body, what’s not to like?

 

Jacob:

But I won’t be able to look at them.

 

Angelica:

You can at the opening night. That is,

If the meeting goes well. Besides, you’ll be

Modelling with voluptuous lasses

For my Adam And Eve sequence. Indeed,

I have to give you some leeway, you can

Be unfaithful in the service of art!

 

Jacob:

I’ll try … How many will they commision?

 

Angelica:

Seven. It’s on the theme of Eros and

The female gaze. We’ve been looked at by too

Many men for so long in galleries,

It’s about time we looked at men for once!

I know, there’s Michaelangelo’s David,

And similar, but those are classical

Sculptures – as much as I can’t stop staring

At his whatsit! Enough of that, would you

Care for another glass of wine? It’s so

Fruity, but quite spicy and peppery.

I’ve never tried this type before. It’s from

Vienna, too, we simply must go there!

 

Jacob:

I’d love to go one day. All we need is

Sachertorte to complement the wine.

 

Angelica:

Oh, that is to die for! Shame I didn’t

Think of asking.

 

Jacob:

It’s just as well I did, to treat my love.

Hold on just one second.

 

Jacob goes to the fridge, takes out the cake, and a knife and plates from the cupboard. He and cuts off a piece for both of them and brings the cake upstairs, placing it on the table. Angelica takes a bite.

 

Angelica:

Super lecker! I’m in chocolate heaven!

 

Jacob:

Guess what? The waitress from the restaurant

Remembered me, as well, she says we make

Such a sweet and adorable couple,

She gave me a discount.

 

Angelica:

Awww, that’s so kind.

 

Jacob:

I keep meaning to ask, where’s the graveyard

Exactly? I might go there tomorrow.

 

Angelica:

Oh, it’s two stops before turning off to Bladon,

Down a quaint country lane. There’s a gate with

A guard, privately owned, you know.

 

Jacob:

You didn’t say, how will they let me in?

 

Angelica reaches inside her pocket and takes out her security pass for the cemetery, passing it to Jacob.

 

Angelica:

Just say you’re a friend of Angelica.

Here, take my pass, they all know who I am.

 

Jacob:

Thank you. Now, how about our bubble bath?

 

Angelica:

I’ll tell you what. If you go home and bring

Spare clothes, I’ll run it at midnight, and you

Can stay the night, and we can have a feast!

 

Jacob:

A great idea, I’ll go back straight away

And bring a DVD for us to watch.

 

Angelica:

A romantic film, please, I hate action.

 

Jacob nods and gives Angelica a quick hug, placing his head on her bosom as Angelica strokes his hair.

 

© 2017 AGP

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