#86 A Day at the Museum

by Brandi Haile

To Mark’s surprise, when he turned the corner on the second floor of the Frist Center Art Museum, Penelopy stood staring straight ahead, both of her shoes in hand. She allowed them to dangle freely, from the tips of her thin, piano playing fingers.

The heel of her right shoe hung gently from her index finger, like an ornament, hanging from a slender yet strong branch, of a holiday tree (much like one they had shared in December of 2004, the winter he allowed her to live with him.) The red, pointed toe extended just beyond the hem of her skirt, almost to her knee. The left shoe swung, slightly from her middle finger. His eyes scaled down her leg to her bare foot. He smiled and shook his head.

Seated on a bench, a woman began sketching. Her age-etched hand competently transformed charcoal lines into life. Another patron, a photographer in his 30’s, reached into his pocket for a camera, disguised as his phone, to sneak a quick photo of the old woman capturing Mark as he admired Penelopy.

In another room, at the opposite end of the Museum on the ground floor, a security guard saw it all because of the surveillance camera in the upper, back corner of the left wall, as you enter the 2nd floor gallery.

Mark walked away. The old, artist woman went home. Penelopy never looked away from the painting. The museum closes in five minutes.


JRVogt said...

I like the way the various observers all interact, unaware of being observed by others. Good style there.

Unknown said...

what an interesting chain of interaction (or perhaps chain of observation). It reminds of the "six degrees of separation" thing. A very thought-provoking piece. Good story.

Sylvie Crane said...

I love the postmodern aspect of this story, and the social voyeurism.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the encouraging words. Once I get the hang of navigating through the contest entries, I'll find & enjoy your stories as well.