Wednesday 28 November 2018

The Model

by Roger Noons

a mug of hot chocolate

An advert in a local news sheet, Model Required by Award Winning Artist, generated a number of phone calls, but after I explained what was required, the hours and fees, only two women came to see me. Amanda was too thin and I suspected anorexic. Zoe, who insisted on stripping off to demonstrate, was perfect. Two days later she appeared at the studio just after nine o’ clock in the morning.
    I had stressed the low pay, as being an exhibition painter with irregular commissions, she would receive little until a painting was sold.
    ‘It’s unimportant,’ she said. ‘Andrew has loads of money.’
    ‘My partner, we live alongside the canal in the city centre. It’s a loft, acres of space.’
    ‘What did he say when you told him … you have told him you’re coming here?’
    She didn’t answer, walking over to look through the window.
    ‘Why have you not told him?’
    She shrugged. ‘How do you want me to pose?’
    I moved so that I was facing her. ‘You should have told him. I’ll not feel comfortable, not be able to work if I’m constantly thinking he’s going to come here and … when he finds out, might he be unpleasant to you?’
    She shook her head. ‘He will not mind, I assure you, I’ve—’
    ‘What if he walks into a gallery and sees you naked on the wall?’
    ‘He won’t.’
    ‘You cannot be sure.’
    ‘He will not see me … he’s blind, he’s never seen me. If you were a sculptor, I wouldn’t have agreed. His fingertips know every inch of me.’

Roger is a regular contributor to Café Lit.

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