A Life in Paint
This is my latest piece, I just completed it and I call it Beautiful Despair. It tells a familiar story. Rather than explain it, I'll just tell the story:
He spent his whole life in this town; from the day he was born, right up to today. Everything he has ever known has been here, friends, school, jobs, loves won and lost. A walk through the streets is like a tour of his life. His first job at Jeb's Grocery, the willow tree where he first kissed a girl, the corner where he fell off his bike trying to escape some local hoodlums. It was a great place to grow up, a great place to live.
When he first got word that the plant was closing, packing up and moving overseas, he was disappointed, of course, he'd give 19 years to the place; but he wasn't all that worried. Something would turn up, he was sure of that. I mean, everyone knew him here, if there's a job going, he'd be sure to get it. However, as the days turned to weeks and the weeks into months, no job, not even the hint of one, in sight, his optimism turned to despair. His severance was long gone, yet the bills kept coming. The whiskey tasted better and better, a tiny liquid reprieve. Then the bank came knocking on his front door. Well, it wasn't really ever "his" front door, he quickly learned, and now it sure wasn't. He knew, it was time to move on. Some of the guys from the old gang had told him about a place a few towns over, they were hiring, the money wasn't great, and the hours were shit, but it was work. He looked around, heartsick at the thought of leaving the familiar embrace of the town he had known and loved his entire life, but he knew he had to do it.
Standing at the bus stop in the dim light of dusk, he felt a soft sense of pride growing within him. Mama and Daddy didn't raise no quitter, he thought to himself. He'd just go on over there, get himself one of those jobs and he'd rebuild, start his life over. It's not the end of his story, just the beginning of a new chapter.