Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
The froth and bubble of the water is faster now, the desperate skittering from inside the pot louder, and there is a terrible silent screeching from inside. But his mother continues on as if she we...
"It's time you get you priorities in order, Nathaniel," his mother tells him, never glancing up from her party invitations.
He stands quietly, looking past her.
She licks an envelope and reaches for another across the massive table. Over by the stove, Juanita is using metal tongs to lower a struggling crab into a pot.
"I've been very patient while you've dallied with your little pictures, but its time to focus on your future now."
She folds her manicured hands in front of her while Nathaniel waits complacently.
"Your Father and I expect you to attend his alma mater next fall." Her nails tap the table. They disturb him less than the scratching from the pot.
"You can't waste anymore time with this silly artist notion," she goes on. "You spend entirely too much time in your room as it is."
The froth and bubble of the water is faster now, the desperate skittering from inside the pot louder, and there is a terrible silent screeching from inside. But his mother continues on as if she were deaf.
"It's very important that you excel in school; your Father is making a place for you in his firm and we expect you not to embarrass us," she tells him over the crabs.
"Yes," he says.
"Good," she places an embossed sticker on the front of another invitation. "Now, I want you to pack up all of your art things so that Antwon can put them in the attic tomorrow; you don't need them distracting you from your studies."
Juanita turns off the burner and with her tongs lifts a crab out, red as a livid wound. She places it on its back and begins to rip into the underbelly, looking for the meat.
"Dinner is almost ready, so hurry up," she continues. "Your Father invited the Mayor over tonight."
"May I skip it tonight, Mother?" he asks. "I feel ill."
She nods, dismissing him and he turns towards his rooms. There, Nathaniel gathers up all of his canvases and sketchbooks. The first picture he ever painted was on top, the messy strokes and uncoordinated colors made out what might have been a dog or a spider. He had been in the ninth grade.
He picked up another, more recent painting, this time portraying a human figure. Nathaniel remembered when the instructor introduced the class to the pretty woman they were to paint. The woman on his canvas was grotesque and looked like she had been sent through a taffy machine, or so said the instructor.
Setting his paintings down, Nathaniel began to take off his clothes; he would show them. His mother, his Father, even his untalented Instructor; Nathaniel was an artist! The air made gooseflesh rise on his exposed form as he grabbed several tubes of paint. He took his time applying colors to his body before he set fire to his room.
Closing the door, he set off down the stairs. At the bottom, he could hear the panicked voices of his parents and their guest over the shrill fire alarm. Nathaniel cocked his painted head to the side, it reminded him of the crabs. He continued on to the kitchen where he sat down and ate three helpings of Seafood Paella while the household made frantic skittering noises all around him.