NaNoWriMo Progress

It’s been a long weekend of not getting as much work done as I should have, but that’s alright. I still got enough done to be on track for finishing my second novel this month. Enough talk about what may or may not be, though. Here’s a bit about some paintings:

The Russian writer wore a gorgeous purple robe. The feather on his pen came from a magnificent peacock, which had been owned by his king. His robe was a gift from a lady who believed he was the best writer that had ever lived. She’d only read half of his second book. It was the book everyone talked about when his work first became popular.
There were two scars on his face, one on his chin and one on his right cheek. His right eye had a squint to it, believed to be caused by the same injury as the scar on his cheek. He was balding, but not completely without hair. His teeth were yellow, except for a few at the front of his mouth.
The book he was writing in was thick. It was believed that he wrote about topics no man had contemplated prior to his writing. While his peers discussed Christianity and the Orthodox religion, he wrote about his love for a druid’s daughter. She lived in a far off, warmer land that he would only be able to visit once every decade. If he wanted to see her more often than that, he would have to abandon his wife and children. He loved his family, though, and chose to visit his druidic love as little as possible. It was his effort to keep them together.
The druid woman spoke no language his companions recognized. She chose to abide by the practices of her culture, and its religion. Once a decade, when he visited, she abandoned her family’s traditions to provide her body for the use of the Russian writer, as he saw fit.
“The shape of your body matches the rolling planes of your homeland.” he told her, knowing she wouldn’t understand.
It may have been that he loved her because the women in her community lived their lives unclothed, as the men did, and she had the most alluring physique. The writer speculated that it was a ray of sun shone down from the sky upon her by God himself, that highlighted her spiritual goodness. To truly save her from the hell she was destined to as a pagan, they were required to copulate.
She was caught in a field between her home land’s rolling planes by Radwin Ali’s mind. He saw her there, nude and hurting for her writer. Her ear held a small, beautiful flower, that had been given to her by a suitor. That is where he painted her. In a way, the druid was his mother. To him, she represented the ideal woman: strong and understanding, with unhindered sexualily.
“What is it you want with me?” she asked him when the painting was complete.
“Nothing now. You are done. I will leave you in a sleeve to be sold for a fantastic amount of money, then some drunk businessman will ejaculate starring into your eyes.”
Radwin Ali was a curious man, both in his interest in the world, and others’ interest in him. Before he was famous, he painted in a single bedroom apartment in Rochester, New York. He survived off the occasional garbage plate, ordered in the middle of the night while college students were recovering from their nights of partying. Radwin Ali was not much of a socialite at that time. His dream was to be seen as the world’s greatest living shut in painter. If he ever bought a house, he wanted to fill it with hundreds of painting that wouldn’t see the light of day for ten years. He planned to then flood the market with his work, once it was worth enough. After he accomplished that, he wanted a famous independent director to make a film about his life. These were all things he wanted before he died.
Instead of moving to the country, he’d originally planned on buying a loft in the center of New York City. A feud he started with a famous gallery owner left him unable to find either a loft to live in or a studio to work in. Radwin Ali quickly learned to be more pleasant to others, even though he didn’t appreciate them. He had an epiphany one night, while having sex with his girlfriend on the roof of their apartment building. The people who would first spread word of his work and those he met in the city at that point were the same. Cultivation of their support needed to happen as soon as he met them.
The strange thing about Radwin Ali was that no one remembers what happened between the time when he was a starving artist trying to make it in the big city, and when his paintings were appeared in galleries across the globe. It seemed to be an instantaneous transition. In interviews, his friends would say that they knew him when he and his girlfriend at the time were poor. They would say they loved her, and it was her fault that he became so well known. At the same time, no one could pinpoint the one event that sky-rocketed him to the top. Because his girlfriend eventually ended up hating even the mention of his name, she wouldn’t tell anyone what had happened to trigger his rise.
Even when he became rich and powerful in the art world, Radwin Ali still had trouble finding a good studio to work in. The feud from his younger years haunted him in one way or another for the rest of his life. Instead of trying to repair the damage he’d caused in the city, he decided to take his city out to the countryside. He bought a car, had a truck packed full of everything he owned, and moved to a small town in Wisconsin. It was a few short months before he moved out of the Midwest, back to the area he’d grown up in. Being too far from New York City was very difficult for him. Something was calling him back to the east coast.
Radwin Ali spent months travelling the north east in search of a new place to call home. During that time, he painted on smaller canvases that were easier to carry from place to place. He completed his most famous painting while on the road. The work was titled “Procession”. It was a picture of a dirt road, splitting a corn field. The road led to an enormous factory building that had been shut down. A handful of children were chasing tin cans that the wind was blowing down the road. The painting was a summary of the feelings Radwin Ali had and the sights that he’d seen exploring the Midwest. It became part of his series of smaller paintings, titled “Moving Still Images”. The series as a whole was labeled as mediocre by critics, save for the “Procession”. No one who was anyone wanted to see the representation of the bleak midwestern American states, they said. Art museums strewn about the midwest were quick to pick up a painting or two. They were the most affordable Radwin Ali’s, and boosted their number of visitors for a good amount of time.
It was while he was working on the last painting in the series that he found the house next to Thomas and Francisco. The entire town was tucked away in the back corners of a beautiful forest. That forest hid it so well, that Radwin Ali drove past the town a dozen times before noticing the road to it went somewhere. He became enchanted with the place at once. First, he’d realized that it was closer to an airport than any of the other towns he’d visited. That would make for an easy escape back to the city. Next, everything on the main street running through the town seemed like it belonged in a different part of the country. The New Orleans café, an exotic pet store next to the antique store, and cevicheria across the street, which was only open in the summer. Moving into that house lifted a massive weight from his shoulders. It gave him the space and solitude to paint non-stop.
Every Sunday in the early summer, Radwin Ali had a bottle of wine and ceviche. After his meal, he would walk to the café for a café au lait and a small plate of begniets. Once the number of guests attending his parties rose enough, he was not seen in town. Someone who’d stayed at his house the night before would come pick up his food for him. Usually, this person would arrive at the cevicheria with a headache and sour stomach. After the third time, the chef started including coconut water in the paper bag along with Radwin Ali’s choice of dishes.

Author: A. M. Langston

Poet and Novelist

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