It’s a long story. <WINK WINK>
Many years ago, I was pursuing a BFA in Painting. Because I don’t like money.
When you’re trying to be an arteest it’s easy to get caught up in the game of Go Big or Go Home. BIG ART means you are totally taking yourself seriously. So I put together a three-foot by six-foot canvas then proceeded to stare at it for six months.
I finally dragged it into class one day when we had a model scheduled. A guy. Nude mais oui.
Our model was young and swarthy. Anyone who’s been with a dark-haired gentleman knows that his manhood is a decidedly different color than the rest of him. Let’s just say I worked a lot of salmony-beige and some very specific—and thick—areas of periwinkle-plum.
I moved fast, I had three hours and 18 square feet of canvas to cover. I wasn’t going for an accurate portrait so much as You get this is a dude, right?
After graduation, my future husband Greg and I didn’t really have a place for a brashly colorful six-foot tall painting of a nude stranger and his voluminous, yet casually draped peen. The naked man took up residence in my mother’s basement where he winked at her, legs boldly spread, every time she did the laundry.
My mother made a few comments over the years asking when the “Giant Naked Man” might be moving on. Oddly, my décor never screamed out for an enormous nude heavy on the salmon and periwinkle. We didn’t live in Key West, nor did we work in porn.
When my mother put her house on the market, the naked man had to go. I pulled him off the stretcher (which I suppose I could have done years ago) and packed him away.
Since then, my mother has mentioned the Giant Naked Man several times—an unsettling number of times. I began to wonder if she suffered some lingering trauma having shared a basement with him for so long.
A few weeks ago the Giant Naked Man came up AGAIN. Seriously?? WTF is her deal with this painting? Then the truth came out.
“Oh my God!” she said, “I thought that was Greg!”
“Wait . . . what?? NO! That wasn’t GREG!”
“Well, he had dark hair and kind of looked like Greg . . . ”
“You thought I put a massive, six-foot tall painting of my naked boyfriend in your basement? Then married him and left this huge, aggressively nude portrait of my husband staring at you for 15 years?”
She was giggling now, “Well, yeah!”
Hey, Mom! Get a load of what—and WHO!—I’m doing at school! In case you were wondering if I was putting that birth control prescription to good use, I AM. Whaddya think of his penis? Pretty good, right? Right??
Brings a whole new meaning to let me paint you a picture.