Mud paint and memories.

Beth was an artist. On some days, she would take half-filled whiskey bottles and paint her boyfriend’s face on it. The skin would be dark and the nose small, the lips chapped and cheeks flushed. She would color every inch except the small circles in the eyes. She would leave that to the sun and whiskey. It had to resemble his eyes, after all. On other days, she would draw little hearts on her cheeks and let his compliments fill it with color and life. Her favorite piece of art didn’t involve her boyfriend at all, though.

The favorite piece of art was a painting she’d made when she was fourteen. Her dog had just passed away and painting was the only way she could cope with the loss of someone she’d lived with all her life. Her dog, Husky, was a military dog when it was young. Beth’s father had brought him home when he had to (for lack of a better word and to make the dog sound more human) retire. Beth was born a month after Husky came home. They were always fascinated by each other. She had started drawing because of him. On a summer morning when she was just four, she was playing with paper when Husky came running into the house. He ran all over the room, including a paper, with muddy feet and that was her first painting. Paw marks.

When he passed away, she drew his picture. She made the background bright red, just the way he would like it and could almost see him wagging his tail as he went crazy because of the color. She colored everything except his body. For the body, she used the mud from where Husky was buried to give his body its natural color. She had it framed and it still hangs on top of her bed. I’ll leave you with a happy memory, though. 

Ever since Beth was born, she had never had food alone. Husky would always be there to have half of it. He ate everything – ice creams, pie, fruits, socks. Everything.


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