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Jules Massenet “Meditation de Thaïs”


Edvard Munch Alone

Hello. It’s very nice to make your acquaintance. It looks like it’s just you and I here for the foreseeable. I will be sure to make your stay comfortable; I’m nothing if not hospitable. Speaking of which, where are my manners? Take a seat. please. I must apologize; sometimes I wonder whether I was born in a barn. It’s not intentional; it’s just that my mind is often in a dozen places all at once and I tend to forget the most rudimentary of manners. I will, of course, endeavor to make your stay as comfortable as humanly possible; after all, we can’t have you growing fidgety can we? I promise not to keep you long; ten minutes of your time is all I require. Here, allow me to pour you a glass of red wine; it has been kept at room temperature so should be just right for the drinking. I’m aware that you may be driving so I won’t be too frivolous with my measure. There, how’s that? Chin chin.

Edvard Munch After The Day

I am so sorry to hear that you’re feeling a little woozy. Don’t worry; wine tends to go to my head too. It is from a particularly potent vine. I’m sure that if you just sit back and relax, the feeling will pass and you’ll be as right as rain in no time. Actually you really don’t look well. Perhaps you should have a lay down for a few minutes; wait for the room to stop spinning. I really am ever so sorry; what an appalling host I am. Tell you what; I’ll leave you here for a while and come back when you’re feeling more chipper. It makes no odds to me as I have a little unfinished business to take care of anyway. You know what it’s like; our work is never done. I’ll turn off the lights as they probably won’t do you any favors. Don’t fret; I’ll be in the next room if you need me for anything. Just holler. My work can get a touch noisy from time to time but I shall attempt to keep it down as I’m mindful that you’ll be resting up.

Francis Bacon Study After Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X

How’s that, feeling any better? I’m sorry to hear that, truly I am. Don’t worry about the bed sheets; they needed a clean anyway. Trust me, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve drunk to excess and made myself sick, then I would have probably bought a house in New Hampshire by now. It’ll all come out in the wash. I do a lot of it; washing that is. Washing and scrubbing stubborn stains. It comes with the territory I suppose. Hadn’t I mentioned? Again, my humble apologies. I’m an artist you see; the world is just one big canvas and I love nothing more than embracing my right to expression. Some have accused my work of being a little unorthodox and that’s fine with me. You can’t please all of the people all of the time and as long as it gives me a sense of satisfaction then I’m happy. It’s not as though I need to do it; I’m an orthopedic surgeon by day so I fit it in wherever I can. Mostly weekends. There is so much pressure to perform in my job and such small margin for error that painting allows me to let loose a little. I’ll show you some of my art in a moment; no rush, you still look a little peaky.

Berthold Woltze, The Irritating Gentleman

I’m going to let you in on a little secret while you’re here. I’m working on my magnum opus; this piece has taken me months to design and I keep meaning to get it finished but I have run out of paint. Need some more deep red and a few more hours should see it completed. I’m ever so proud; this painting has taken blood, sweat and tears and has become something of a labor of love for me. It’s a tad dark if truth be known; one could be forgiven for thinking me a little troubled but I assure you that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s just that I’m surrounded by suffering for most of the day and have seen enough sights over my four years at the university hospital to turn most people’s hair white. I guess it is my way of keeping myself sane; channeling my anguish into something which I regard as beautiful, despite its dark leanings. I find it excellent therapy; that and red wine of course, but I know that’s something of a sore point right now.

Edvard%20Munch-929526 Death

Enough about me. I’m genuinely interested to find a little more out about you. I have a tendency to run off at the mouth and often it is suggested that I am self-absorbed but it’s never intentional. I just get a bit nervous is all. If I’m feeling even slightly uneasy I go off on one of my tangents and it can be hard getting a word in edgeways. Tell you what. I’ll go and make you a coffee; I’m assured another glass of red will likely work against you and I have a new Colombian that I have been dying to try out. Lay back, make yourself at home and remember; if you need anything just holler. When I return it will be all about you I promise. I can see that you’re just bursting to share something with me and I pledge to return the favor afterwards. Fair’s fair after all. Ignore any audio coming from the lounge; I have a penchant for horror films and keep meaning to get my ears syringed. Neighbors complain that it sounds like a murder scene in here. I know right? After all I do to save lives some people still think I would be capable of doing something so nefarious. There I go again; right then, coffee. Two sugars. Back in a jiffy.


I hope you like it milky; the lid came off while I was pouring it and I… oh… oh dear. What are you doing? Have I said something to upset you? I didn’t mean any offense. Is that thing loaded? Okay, okay, I’m moving. Where do you want me? Here. Right I’m sitting down now alright. Just stay calm; we’re friends aren’t we? I don’t know what I’ve said and if I have spoken out of turn then I really am truly sorry. What ropes? These? Alright I’m doing it, look. I can’t do my hands; look I promise I won’t try to escape. You just tell me what you want me to do and I shall do my level best to accommodate. Please don’t tie them tight; I have a thing about being restrained. When I was four my father used to lock me in the pantry and I panic if I can’t move. Ouch. That… that really hurts. Please, you don’t have to do this. I have money; savings I can wire to your account in minutes. I give you my word that this won’t go any further. I’m nothing if not discreet. Just untie me please.

Agnus Dei by Francisco de Zurbarán

Oh God. No more…no! I’ll do anything. Anything you want. Why are you doing this? What have I ever done to you? I can get you help. I know a good consultant psychiatrist; the best in the business. I’ll hook you up; nobody ever need know. Fuck it. Do your worst then you motherfucker. Come on, what are you waiting for? You a pussy or something? Is that it; are you angry at the world and just acting out? Poor you. It must be hard being a fucking fruitcake. Untie me. Un-fucking-tie me. Cunt! Yeah you’re damn right I’m pissed; when I get out of this I’m going to rip your skullcap off and polish my brogues with it. You messed with the wrong person. I’m going to make the last sorry minutes of your life an absolute misery and your death an intense pleasure, for me at least. Not so big now are you? What’s wrong, cat got your tongue?


I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any of that; I’m just venting. I’m scared alright? Ignore what I said; most folk do anyway. I meant what I said about the help though; it may appear hopeless but it will get easier in time. I know it sounds clichéd but it’s the truth. All you have to do is stop. That’s it, just put the gun down. That isn’t going to prove anything; I’ve seen what happens in prison and believe me it’s not a good place to end up. Thank you. Now would you mind slackening this rope a little? It’s burning my wrists. I won’t try anything, we’re friends now remember. We’ll get you through this. In a few months time we’ll be laughing about it I’m sure. That feels so much better. Don’t be upset; I understand. I’m not judging you. Stress gets to us all; makes us do things we wouldn’t ordinarily dream of. Ssh. That’s it, relax. Relax and… PUT YOUR FUCKING HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM!! You’re too trusting by far my friend. Think I’m going to get you help? Fret not, I have plans for you. You’ll know soon enough. Right then, let’s finish that painting shall we? Where was I? Uh-huh. That’s right… deep red.


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