art supplies with ghost face

Art Store Chills

 I don’t know why I keep returning to this crappy art store. They never seem to have what I need. Especially when I’m in a hurry to finish a painting.

When I phone them to ask about an item, they almost always tell me they don’t have it in stock but they’d be happy to order it for me. Well, if I wanted something ordered and to wait for it, I would do that myself online. Geeezzz, the stupidity at some of these places! And I probably should’ve called first but, fuck it, I’m here now so let me see what they don’t have in stock this time around.

I’ll just cruise the aisles

ghost walking through empty store aisle

Why do I feel so empty?

Where are those number 8 hog bristle brushes that I like? Shit, all gone. And they seem to be out of my favorite varnish too. Can’t seem to decide whether I should try a different brand. I want to ask someone for help, but as usual, the only person working the floor is busy with some retiree who is just now getting the “art bug” and needs hand-holding to purchase the items that the instructor has recommended. And the cashier is tied up with a line of people at the checkout counter. Ugh, it never fails.

So—what I really came for is a tube of paint. I want to experiment using a new red for my latest work. Of course they don’t have the color I want. Why do I bother coming here? But there are still a few choices. Hmmm…do I want to try the slightly brighter Napthol Red or go with Cadmium Red Medium? These days I can’t afford both. I weigh one tube in each hand. Napthol Red? Cadmium Red Medium? Napthol Red? Cadmium Red Medium? I hate it when I feel this way—I am frozen with indecision. Hey, maybe that shade of red up at the top?

I’m looking for the unexpected.
I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before.
~ Robert Mapplethorpe

Finally, here comes the new girl who starts her shift right about now. Seems she came in with a girlfriend and is showing her around the place. They’re coming this way. I’ll just wait in this aisle and pounce on her with my list of questions. Good, they’ve stopped and she’s pointing in my direction. What the hell is the matter with that gal? She’s gesticulating and carrying on about something.

“Yeah, for real,” I hear her say. “This is the aisle where an impatient customer tried to climb up to reach something and the whole loaded display island toppled over and killed her. Ever since then, some folks say they’ve seen a curious shadow lurking in that spot. Totally creepy, eh?”

“Hell, yeah,” says the other girl as they both walk through me.

Life doesn’t end at the checkout counter.

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