She gathered herself up into the same tangled and twisted shawl. Holding it near her nostrils as she did, a faint and haunting nostalgia drew her upstairs.
The entire day had been profitable for her. Her name was known as a result of the best show ever and the latest painting completed. The meeting with the agent now in charge of her portfolio was over. Her direction and focus was on target. A woman ahead of her time? Yes, she was.
As she climbed the last few steps, her heart and head pounded. The children would think she was crazy indeed if they knew her routines of the evening. They had been blind to who she really is-all their lives.
A need to know basis is what they called it. She often wished they could see her as she was-but they are of the future, not able to see their parents as anything but fading ghosts of their past. She understood that was as it should be.
This was a night for the past and she would have it all to herself. The closest door stood ajar, she opened it and the stool was where she left it. She realized she was humming the same tune from a night out of time and place.
From the green box she carefully took the shoes. He had them handmade for her birthday, the first time they were in Italy of soft calves leather and linen embossed with tiny bits of the things she loved.
Her size 4 foot slipped as easily as ever into them. Walking only on the carpets, she descended the stairs back to the art room.
Her “muse” with her, she began a new painting as the clock in the hallway struck 1:00 AM.