Pictured, “The Old American Artist, a Love Story” – First of Series
A romance and an artist’s story, how could it not be a love story?
We all love a story that shows how a loving pair, meeting obstacles in life, overcome that challenge, and resolve to love each other. But what happens during the “lived happily ever after” part? What are the details, what might the process be, achieving and living that post-crisis life?
This arc, from boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy regains girl, morphs, in this first of three books, in the trilogy Triptych, into that fuller story of life, and love.
“a beginner’s view: the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”
The Old American Artist, a Love Story
Ten Chapter Preview Sample
Related Posts :
I’m a WHAT Kind of Writer! Romance? - Part 1 - Intro (part one of seven)
Why This Sample
besides that i should have a preview sample on my site anyway, just for indexing purposes, there’s one really overriding reason i’ve decided to post the first ten chapters to “the old american artist, a love story” -
i want a sample that takes the reader through the development to where the two main characters, arturo and rosetta, meet
as explained in my seven part series, “I’m a WHAT Kind of Writer! Romance? - Part 1” there two time threads that meet near the end of this first book in the series -
arturo and rosetta in the current time thread know each other, actually have known each other for over thirty years, and it is at the end of chapter ten the two meet, in the past
the development to that point, i believe, gives a more satisfying preview than the set stopping points where my book is sold
i hope you enjoy the excerpt below, and will consider reading the remainder of the story
the second book in the series, “rosetta,” is scheduled for completion mid to late august this year
thank you so much, sincerely,
“Rosetta” – Second in Series
Available mid to late August
Ten Chapter Sample from, “The Old American Artist, a Love Story”
[ Please Note : Formatting possible in my blog format differs slightly from the actual ebook. I personally prefer my ebook format. Thank you much. ]
Arturo, the “American Arturo” as some villagers affectionately called him, could feel the scratch of his beard, even being just a week old. Maybe now, in my sixties, he thought, my days are like weeks now. One running to the other. Is this what timelessness was? he wondered. He hoped not.
Squinting his eyes to shut out his thoughts, he followed the dusty curling rolling road that trailed into the distance from what his children called his “escape.”
This part of the upper Mediterranean, reminded him of the weather in Austin. Blended with Galveston. Hot. Humid. But not as crowded. Not as hot. Arturo was glad he had taken a break from the bustle of Texas. And the cold of Vermont.
Here, these stretches of sandy beaches barely crawled with a few children, families of the many fishermen living nearby. Yet a half hour winding walk, up along the dusty road, a small artist town, split between the Italians, French, and Spaniards, opened as a unique playground and portal to the world’s world of art. It would be good, thought Arturo, to see how to bring the children and grandchildren to such a place.
Squinting into the distance, to where the road spun off a path to his house, Arturo shrugged off thoughts of art and families. The small loping moped in the distance said the mailman, always early in the morning, had passed by, and his thoughts were on seeing if the red flag was up on his mail box. It was not.
Relaxing his eyes into the distance, and imagining her arrival, his eyes smiled at the thought of Rosetta.
“Half Irish, half French,” she had told him, when she had finally agreed to have lunch with him.
“Rosetta,” Arturo had repeated, and she had laughed throwing out her sound, tilting back her head, as if drinking her own enjoyment.
“What’s so funny?” he grinned, curious.
“You, Arturo, you are a funny boy.”
Grinning wider, “Boy?” he replied. “I have children and will be thirty soon.”
“But Arturo, you’re only a boy, barely nearly thirty.”
At least that’s what she had told him. Only a boy? he thought again. But he could tell she liked the idea, or something about it, and he liked her, so it suit him fine.
He took a small breath into the awkward pause.
“So you have children too?” he asked, assuming he was on safe, gender friendly ground.
But she had looked away with a moment’s glance at him, gone from their lunch and in her own private thoughts. When she returned to look at him, she said simply, “No. Not with me,” and laid her napkin down.
Thinking back for a moment, Arturo remembered feeling it best not to answer with words right then, or say that his own children were with their mother. His heart was too intrigued with the woman sitting before him, swelling his creative mind with ideas and impulses he only barely felt, like the first rays of the sun which a large cloud has just begun to expose.
He would not intrude he had decided. Not yet.
He let his thick-lashed eyes soften and round, the same way he let himself into the life of one of his paintings. Especially those he began to feel connected to.
Colors and textures.
Shapes that softly glow.
A wholeness in one glance.
No letter had come. But also no call.
She would be home for his show that night then.
Coming inside the converted fisherman’s hut, old wooden shelving across from the expanses of windows facing the sea, was nearly like stepping under a wide high umbrella outside on the beach, at least like those nearer the big hotel by the sea in town.
Coolness was instant, while the eyes slowly dilated.
Arturo hummed quietly, as if to soothe the slowly lifting darkness.
Canvases, like floating cubes and rectangles, dimly reflected the morning light filtering the stretch of rooms. The weave of the linen and rough cotton canvases caught sparkles like sea spray catching moonlight.
These were the moments Arturo felt a visitor to his own work.
Walking slowly, the old wood plank floor creaking gently, he passed between two large easels and paintings, like an old ship gliding gently on slippery thin water between rocks of the unknown. He resisted turning or looking back yet for a peek, allowing his concentration to focus further into the dawning light in the bank of windows. Faintly he heard the murmur of the sea, the waves’ lips whispering tales of other lands. He had heard those same whispers in Galveston, and Vermont, about other lands, on other sides of the world’s waters. And now was standing, he realized, on the other side of those whispers. He imagined hearing the voices of growing children. His own voice. Rosetta’s smile.
Arturo cracked open the window an inch, the morning breeze still too cool, too swift, for his comfort, and let the wind’s whispers speak light whistles.
With that, he turned to face his work.
Thirty by forty inch gallery wrapped linen panels, one angled each side in front of him, made Arturo take slow full breaths of his seaside air.
Layered over days, weeks, and now a month each, the slow rising morning light looked to be waking the pigments lying deep within the brush-stabbed dab-dashed ocean like waves of color.
By noon, the colors would be singing.
And by evening, the light absorption, and reflection, would pause at the surface once more.
His painting remained static in color and feel, only in photos. The broken surface and uneven layering reflected and revealed differing light throughout the day. The image itself, when nearly done, Arturo had always felt, lived in the light.
With another deep, yet stuttering breath, like a child finally released from its anguish, finally resting in a remembered unborn state, Arturo stepped unaware, closing the distance to his paintings.
Natural light glistened off the ridges of paint. In the valleys. Along the waves of pigment.
And Arturo saw where he wanted to add hints of shadow, eye-winks of highlight.
A strong slow breath told Arturo he was ready to paint.
Arturo savored the syllables softly and and said it again slowly.
“Rosetta…like the rosetta stone.” His voice sounded the words with the weight of light precious rocks, then quickly added, “not the language company, but the….”
“Yes,” Rosetta glanced quickly to Arturo, then back to her meal. It was their second lunch date. And there was no need to hurry both hungers. “A lot of people tell me that.”
Arturo, at the tender turning age of twenty-nine, half impetuous, half matured, paused, but still rushed inside himself to find his reply. Though they had just met that week, he liked the glint and glimmer in her eye. He feared losing momentum. As with his art, he feared letting his paint dry when it still needed blending, most especially when the image in his mind fit the feeling in his heart. The solution, he had often found, was to press on. Dab the canvas.
Nope, he thought, too little. He could see it in her eyes, the dash of disappointment. “You know,” he pressed again, crossing his feet, leaning forward, squeezing his thoughts out, “it’s because people see you as special.” Yes! he thought, he saw a glint of approval.
But she wanted more.
“How’s the rosetta stone special? What’s so special about it?” She seemed to wish she had more food to cut, or something to butter. But all was about eaten now. The bits left were getting cold. “I mean, I’ve heard of the rosetta stone, I just don’t know why it’s so important. No one’s been able to tell me for sure,” and her fork clattered to the nearly empty plate drawing quick looks from the table nearby and both Arturo and Rosetta burst out laughing.
Arturo leaned forward a few more inches, closing off their conversation from those around them, and Rosetta smiled, grateful for his touch of awareness.
“I really don’t know,” and Arturo’s smile spread as Rosetta’s eyes widened, surprised. “Maybe we can explore that together. Go to the library.”
The breath between them was very still.
“Galveston has a real old library that’s kinda fun to use,” he said quietly.
“We have an old one in Vermont where I grew up too.”
Their breath stirred.
“Vermont? Is that north of Dallas?”
Rosetta hesitated. “Well, yes, it’s actually a state….”
Arturo burst out laughing, again drawing looks from the quiet couple nearby.
Lowering his voice, he said, “I’m just kidding. I know where Vermont is. On a map anyways,” and grinned.
“You do? Really? A lot of people here in Texas never heard of it.”
A sad thought passed through Arturo. Even now, in the early 80s, nearly the end of the twentieth century, he knew this was true. Many people still knew little beyond where they lived, including himself, he thought. Setting his eyes with serious softness on hers, he smiled a tiny smile, and knowing he knew her, said, “I believe you.”
Their awkwardness, he sensed, had eased, each with tiny smiles, like a great painting begun.
Arturo was staring at a small ridge of blue-green paint, pondering how a touch of highlight might enhance the spot, when he became aware of knocking at the door. Keeping the brush ready in his fingers, he found his way to the front door, visualizing the area he had been working on and opened the door. A rectangle entrance cut the dark inside, flooding night to day.
Sunlight showered his vista of Anna, the young neighbor girl, pale in her shorts with an equally pale blue top against the flood of sky and brownish earth beyond her.
“Hi Señor Arturo,” she smiled, a sparkly gap in her grin to match the twinkle in her dark eyes. “The mailman gave us your mail!” She laughed, obviously delighted with the idea.
“Thank you Anna,” Arturo spoke softly, slowly, trying to remember how he had thought he would like that ridge of paint touched with paint. Two dots of shade? Or a thin fading highlight line?
“Señor Arturo, your mail!”
The envelope dwarfed her hand and he forced himself to focus a smile on her, taking the envelope. She slapped her small hands on the sides of her thighs.
“Mamma says you can come eat with us,” she said, her eyes wide for an answer, motioning to her mother, Nicoletta, standing further back nearer the road.
His smile, relaxed on his unshaven face, Arturo nodded yes to them both, rubbing his belly. Anna liked that, doing releve´s on her toes. “Ahh, but tell your momma I have a show tonight,” he remembered.
She stopped, on tip-toe, listening.
Arturo pointed up beyond the road toward the hill and beyond. “In town. Pictures,” he mimicked painting with his brush in his hand.
“Paintings, paintings! Like mine?” Anna swirled side to side still on her toes, dancing to the conversation. He had given her, and her family, several pieces they had liked, when he and Rosetta had first moved here, after Anna’s parents had introduced themselves, bringing him and Rosetta steaming bowls of fresh fish mixed with cut vegetables. The memory brought him a sad happiness, not yet knowing if he and Rosetta would stay.
“Yes. Very much,” he smiled to Anna, glad he could make her so happy so easily.
Anna pranced, arms alternating up into the air in pure play, unaware how beautifully she danced. “I’ll tell mamma. Goodbye Señor Arturo,” she smiled and was gone, running to her mother.
“Goodbye Anna,” said Arturo, waving to Nicoletta, waiting uphill.
The paintings for the show that night, he thought, were similar to those he had given them, though with a twist they had only recently seen, and knew they had liked.
The painting surface he had left inside, which direction it would show still undetermined, met him with feigned impatience. But Arturo knew the surface would wait as long as needed.
The art, his art, always did.
He glanced quickly to the spot he had left, nicked the flat edge of the brush with a trace of titanium white, a dot of cobalt blue, and dashed the line along and over and to the back of the raised ridge of dry paint, and the three foot by four foot surface of canvas joined in one expanse of landscape for the eye.
Arturo felt the quick involuntary intake of breathe and accepted it.
He was done with this piece for today.
Before Arturo met Rosetta, just shy of his thirtieth birthday, half his life ago, he had lived, he believed, the poor man’s version of the playboy life.
Unexpectedly divorced, and seeing his children only on alternate weekends, he had unexpectedly felt his quarter century of young years greying along the edges. Feeling a gap in his heart, he spun a criss-crossing web of attempts to catch a satisfying life, right to the day he saw Rosetta for the first time.
A month before his discharge from the U.S. Air Force, celebrating his birthday, Arturo motioned the cocktail waitress, who smiled so easily each time he spoke with her, to lean closer in the loud crowded club.
“Today’s my twenty-fifth birthday.”
She pulled back, took a quick look at Arturo, dipped her lean frame back to him, smiling lightly. ”Happy birthday soldier.” She smiled a little broader, “I hope you get all you want.”
Arturo’s heart twinged, warming his eyes. In that instant, from the words of a kind stranger, Arturo made a decision. He would search and he would find the woman he wanted to stay with.
He leaned upward to her, toward her up-curling wave of auburn hair falling down to him.
“I want a kiss.”
It wasn’t until near noon Arturo remembered the letter Anna had brought him.
He glanced around by the canvases he had worked on that morning. First by the large work he had immediately returned to, then two smaller works.
Arturo instinctively knew he hadn’t placed the letter in that room, but a lifetime mix of right and wrong turns, assumptions and presumptions, gave him enough caution to check.
I’m here anyways, he thought to himself, chuckling in the quiet, glancing to see if he had tucked the long envelope behind the smaller twenty-four by twenty-four painting. The view of his fisherman’s cottage cut a silhouette from the bottom left corner of the square canvas, a third into the view of beach and ocean, the faded horizon line slanting almost imperceptibly up, left to right.
Nope. No envelope there.
A number ten, Arturo remembered, long enough for a tri-folded sheet of paper.
Arturo continued looking.
Nothing on the tiny raised ceramic stand by an eighteen by twenty-four canvas, blank, except for the heavy brushed mass of textured pale slate blue, the strokes wide, passing calmly left to right. Envelope must be elsewhere, he thought, running his fingers cooly along the raised floral fired into the ceramic stand.
Arturo returned to the front door. There. By the leaning lamp, set mid-point on the cracked long-ago varnished wood table from Santino, Anna’s father. The long cream envelope was from Rosetta’s hotel in New York.
Assuming it was the bill, Arturo had absently laid it there. But it was addressed, he just noticed, in script. It was from Rosetta.
Inside, she mentioned she hoped he would get the letter before she arrived at the hotel that night. Alternating varying sizes of x’s and o’s spread about the page.
He stopped and thought about it for a moment. She must have mailed it mid-week, he reasoned, knowing she should make it back in time. Satisfied, though he still worried, it was a long trip back, he glanced back at her note.
“See you at the show,” he whisper-read, quietly remembering why he needed to shave.
After the Air Force, Arturo returned to college, GI bill benefits in hand. He didn’t know what he wanted to do exactly. So, picking up where he had left off when he had enlisted, he finished his two year mark with an Associated Arts degree, then transferred to the newest of the University of Houston schools, this one in Clear Lake.
Taking three basic required classes, he also tried three different electives.
“Six classes!” his advisor had peered over his glasses at Arturo, “that’s a lot,” and Arturo had laughed good-naturedly.
Arturo’s quick smile and laugh almost always took new acquaintances by surprise, but a quick look by the counselor, and, reassured of Arturo’s sincerity, he too relaxed and smiled.
“I’ve worked most my life, since a teen, so six classes, if that’s all I do, is a break for me,” and Arturo smiled again, but with an added glint in his eyes.
The student advisor, looking a bit tired, nodded his head. “Yes.”
For four years, Arturo followed this pattern. Two or more required classes. Three or more electives, mostly in the arts, with a philosophy class here and there to train his mind. Whichever elective he liked best, he kept. Then added new electives to try more subjects. His children, when they visited, were always curious what new things he was learning.
“They let you do that in school asked his youngest,” a boy.
“Yes, but I have to study. Ceramics is a science and an art, I can’t just make anything,” he told Arthur, Yvette, his girl, looking on grinning.
“But a giant trashcan, Dad! That is so cool!”
Arturo finished his four years of veteran’s benefits with degrees in Theatre, English Literature, and the Humanities. One B.A. and two Masters. He felt he had gotten himself a basic education in the culture he was born in, was happy with what he had learned, especially that learning never needed to end, and he never looked back.
The most important thing though, Arturo realized, he would probably never learn enough about, was women.
So during those four years, when not studying or jogging, he spent most of his time studying females. Diligently.
At first, in what clearly was short term fun, for all parties, living in an apartment near the university, was the convenience of painting by numbers for Arturo and any girl he dated.
A dancer at a friend’s party, playing the younger guys jostling for her attention, yet smilingly eyeing Arturo who was patiently enjoying the flow, turned out to live close to his small rented room.
Dancers, he quickly found, like himself as an artist, enjoyed movement variety.
Nuanced or unsubtle. Rhythmic or in intervals of intensity.
Yet, after the third date, Arturo couldn’t get past the acid smokers taste she left on his lips.
Tentative attempts to broach the subject of smoking made it clear she would rather smoke.
Then, a friendly face at an art opening was fun and comfortable, but neither she nor Arturo anguished much about moving on to other people. Fun though, he remembered, with a smile.
Soon, it was apparent to Arturo, he needed more. More compatibility. More time in the relationship. He had been married young, divorcing before the Air Force, and was finally beginning to miss the day-to-day of being with someone he really cared for, something he had so early in his years caught glimpses of.
After another try, with an artistically supportive woman, who never-the-less decided it was a delusion for Arturo to believe love was more mysterious than protons and neurons, Arturo decided it was time to change his surroundings.
“You think you love me,” she said.
“Well. I like you,” Arturo grinned, though not without noticing the lack of usual affection he preferred in his encounters.
“You think you like me. It’s fun sex, but it’s just chemicals. In our brains. Conditioning. What you think you desire, you’ve been programmed to want. But that’s ok,” she added quickly, a bit of intensity returning to her eyes. “If we fit well together, it’s meant to be. It’s what nature and our environment has created between us.” She waited.
Arturo waited too. Digesting his thoughts.
“What about free will, can’t I come up with new things I want to do? And those choices, my choices, will change any conditioning and DNA?”
“I can see that we, mostly anyway, I’m not sure about completely, can only work and do things within a range, but I don’t think we even know our range. Our knowledge of what we as people can do is very limited. I can use my discretion and free will to choose my path in that range.”
“I don’t think so.”
In the early spring, with fog on the waves, Arturo moved to Galveston.
History shows, he reflected, the weather is less predictable there.
Nature is a bigger proton, a neuron we can’t yet predict.
Arturo liked the idea of that.
And when he arrived in Galveston, he bought a kitten from a box.
He had never been allowed a pet. That changed.
Arturo had, as a child, looking high up at his Dad, always wanted to shave. Until he had to. Once he had to shave, especially every day, he hated it.
In the Air Force, shaving everyday is like the sun rising, expected.
“Soldier, I don’t care if you have to scrape your face off, you’re shaving, now.”
Later, after it had looked like half his unit in boot camp had scraped most their faces off, the recruits realized, they had been tested. And passed. For obeying orders. Those with difficulty shaving each day were sent to special classes. Arturo was among them.
“How many of you wimps know how to shave?”
Three or four hands tried to go up then thought better of it.
“Good. Because if you thought you did, you didn’t. If you thought you didn’t, you were right. And if you thought you’d never know, you were wrong. Am I right!”
All the young men in fatigues nodded on cue.
It did turn out that they didn’t know how to shave. Arturo was astonished it was so simple. He wished he had known much sooner.
The seventies were not a good time to grow a beard in southeast Texas.
He had tried growing his beard in the hot humid Houston extended summer that began, because of the humidity and dew point, the first of April. Welts broke out in his face under his beard like fire ant mounds. He waited for the short winters, to get a month or two of shaving relief, and was chased and shouted at on the roads for looking Iranian.
The instructor was ready to begin.
“You dirt bags need to first wash your face like a little girl…oh, you think that’s funny!”
“No sergeant!” screamed the room full of red faced airmen.
“Then you lather, like this…” the sergeant put a small round glop of shaving cream in one hand with one spurt. “And you rub it in like this…round and round and into your girly skin!”
The sergeant reached down to the plain wood table beside him, pinched a small safety razor, and lifted it up to the room.
“This, is a weapon. And you must make your weapons your friends!”
“Look at the blades. Is it crappy full of damn rust! Or old hairs from the day before!” He paused. “It better damn not!”
“No sergeant!” No one took a chance they needed to be asked.
“You rinse it, shake it – you boys know how to shake it don’t you…”
The sergeant paused, finally smiling.
Easing his voice, and shake drying the razor as if it had been rinsed, he mimicked easing down the sides of his face in long easy slow strokes.
“You have to check and see how your beard grows. It don’t grow just one direction, and it doesn’t grow upward, like a damn weed!”
“But sergeant,” the soldier next to Arturo asked, “if I do that my beard’s still there in spikes and…”
“Did I say you could ask questions son?”
“No sir, uh, sergeant!”
“You shave in the direction of your beard. How your hair grows, then you shave back up or sideways to catch the rest. And you don’t pull your skin to make your skinny little hairs stand up!”
The sergeant smiled, like he was finally with the listening group of men in front of him, not against them. “Don’t you worry. You’re gonna make your mommas proud.”
It can’t be that easy, thought Arturo. But it was.
Arturo looked in the mirror in the tiny bathroom, and thought of Rosetta.
His greyed and black-flecked beard looked good to him.
I have all afternoon, he decided, his eyes twinkling.
He knew he would shave before she got home.
And the show.
Galveston, initially, proved almost as problematic as it did promising.
An old wooden apartment house, a few side blocks from the water, housed medical students for the University of Texas’ Galveston branch, and had a rare mid-term vacancy.
Arturo and Sundance quickly settled into the easy island flow, with Yvette’s and Arthur’s visits becoming more frequent as their mother became sporadically ill.
Smiles with the neighbor lady across the street, her two young boys often playing in the seldom busy road, led to a quick first experiment at finding a longer relationship.
The mom, it turned out, was also wanting a longer term connection, and was busy scouting out all qualified prospects. Arturo opted out of the running when she came by at midnight one night after, as she expressed it, putting out a fire on a fireman on call that evening. Arturo eventually saw her happily on the arm of an elderly man, a man his own age now he realized, when his thoughts went back to those breezy days by the Gulf of Mexico.
After two more quick turns with fun ladies neither he nor they thought were long term, a girl who liked smoking a tight thin joint en-route from Galveston to Clear Lake to attend classes, and a small thin girl who worked music at one of the island’s many clubs, Arturo met a girl who said she was half English half German. An interesting alliance, he thought.
Arturo, born and raised in Texas, and having always felt fully American, and Texan, liked knowing his ancestors were both Indians from Northern Mexico and Spaniards from Europe. Most people called that Mexican, and Arturo could see that, but not why people thought lineage only went to the most recent country before America. It felt natural to him that he liked and felt a kinship with this girl with two distinct heritages that had also clashed.
Nights, and some late-waking days, were exciting. Her clash of ancestors though, it seemed, lent her an excuse to justify herself as hopeless against keeping promises and affections. This led to a bewildering ride into the momentary.
It was not to be enough, Arturo found, to mostly have combustibility, however intriguing, with his mate.
Plus, her interest in science intrigued him, but again, confused him. Which confused her.
“Potassium is a natural product in bananas. That is common sense,” she would tell him.
“How can that be common sense? Someone had to tell you that,” he would answer.
His smile couldn’t ease the perplexed crinkling in her eyes and brow.
Sundance, always patient, listened from a corner.
Arturo, finishing college with an assortment of arts and humanities degrees, looked out at the low rolling waves, thought about the dawning of the new decade, the decade that the novel 1984 had warned about, the decade of something new called music videos, and decided, having heard his ex-wife was seriously ill, he would get a job, but stay on the island, liking its short sudden storms and long relaxed days of sun and breezes.
His two children, if need be he thought, would be happy there.
A local social welfare agency needed someone, preferably a man, to balance their roster, and a hispanic man was a plus. Who would have known, thought Arturo, wanting to smile, but not sure why he didn’t. That he was the most qualified anyway, helped him forget the issue.
The plan, the gentle woman who would be his supervisor said, was a few days in the office, then two weeks, all day each day, in Houston for training. Then back to the office in Galveston.
The trip up I-45 was not the treadmill parking lot crawl it would become by the end of the millennium. Arturo, having grown up in Houston, learning its freeways as each one was built, easily found the office in the southeast, neglected, nearly deserted part of the huge city.
The training room, run by an attractive black woman with eyes like diamonds, was longer than wide, with a gleaming honey toned wood table ringed with thickly upholstered chairs.
She greeted Arturo, and each new person, with genuine affection.
Four or five people had already arrived. All women.
Having quickly viewed that everyone else was female, he slowed his pace, allowing his gaze to pass slowly by each person.
An older lady with neat white hair. She smiled quickly, politely, and returned to reading the papers in her Intro packet.
A young thin girl, nervous, anxious to get started and not be there any longer than necessary. Her eyes made him jittery.
A calm lady, maybe middle age, though old to Arturo at the time, quiet, not caring to look up or say anything.
And at the far end of the table, across from the side he had chosen to go down, in the next to last chair before the end of the narrowing table, thick hair brushed smoothly back in a perfect Galveston wave, ringlets dropping lightly, placed like living earrings round by her ears, down her neck touching the high lace collar reaching up from her crisp pink shimmered top, sat Rosetta.
( end of ten chapter preview for “the old american artist, a love story” )
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