Painting is life.
I have known this since I was a child, digging my fingers into mud to smear out pictures across the hot asphalt on summer days. That was the mere beginning. Crayons on the walls, scribbles in the numerous books I could place my hands on, anything that would allow me to wallow in my passion … I craved it. I craved to create life as my fingers deftly smeared my mother’s found makeup across the cabinets.
The colors always astounded me. How they would merge together to create new shades that, at the time, I had little description for. Or how they would overlap, give the picture depth. Become … alive.
Of course, my parents didn’t share my passion, so it was often I suffered for my art. At first, it was no more than sharp words and rebukes. When that didn’t work, I was imprisoned in my room. And still I found ways to create. There were often times I would see those dazzling colors swimming across my room, and I would run my finger through the air, pretending I was blending them above me to paint the ceiling. Or I would catch hold of one of the cats and make use of it. Poor animals. They really did hate me.
I believe that was around the age that my parents grew concerned. They couldn’t stop me from my pictures, and they found me to be … disturbing. I couldn’t understand what was so wrong with any of it. There was talk of getting rid of the animals, for fear of what I would do to them. Instead, it was I who was packed away, hauled off to a mental institution in an attempt to push the urges to paint out of my mind. If anything, being around those neurotic, insane individuals seemed to awaken my zest all the further.
It so happened that there was another painter, a young woman who often scratched at the walls until her nails broke and her fingers bled. Then she would leave such interesting murals across the wall with her blood. Little pictures, nonsensical for the most part. But in those scribblings I saw a whole new world. One that I rejoiced in. Red soon became my favorite color.
However, I found that I cared little to use my own blood. As much as I cared for my art, I couldn’t endure the pain of destroying my own fingers for my passion. Instead, I found friends. Those who would hurt themselves on a constant, and didn’t mind sharing their veins so I could immerse myself in my drawings. Of course, when we were found out, I was locked away in solitaire for quite some time. I can’t begin to say what it did to my mind, having little to no color, thirsting for my passion and being restricted from it. I learned my lesson during that lengthy stay – if I wanted to paint, I would have to do so in secret.
It was hardly difficult to find useful individuals. Each person brought a new nuance to each painting I created. And each painting would become so alive the more that I added from others. Of course, there were complications. Some problems. It seemed one of my paintings was found, but in such an odd way that they couldn’t say whether it was my doing or another’s. It was at this time they felt there was nothing they could do for me, not anymore. I was a helpless case, and an adult now. So, I was allowed to leave. I had spent eight years in that torturous institute, but now I was free.
I fell into my art with unfaltering glee. Such artistic delights I created, once I’d found my subjects. I had always been a charming boy when young, and that charm had not faltered even now. I would lure my subjects to my home, and then I would make use of them. And how they would come alive! I truly loved to see them this way, my passion for them piqued and held for some time. Of course, it would ebb. It always would ebb. It was a fire within them that would tamper down, then go out. Every time, I would feel so utterly incomplete, because my work was clearly not done. And so I would have to find another … then another.
But this time, I think I have learned how to keep the flames going. I have had in my company four lovely women, each of who give to my art in their own way. When their blood mingles together, I can hear them singing … or screaming, really. They often scream when I slice into their skin, usually at the veins. You get such a rich amount of blood at the veins. They always scream when I go near them, but even that is music to my ears. It almost sounds like the cats’ screaming when I would use scissors on them and use their insides to make such pretty pictures. It’s a shame that my art could never be understood, even then.
It seems that my dear Fiona, however, is losing that fire. Her screams are low, and her eyes are glassy. Her bleeding has turned sluggish. I fear she won’t be with us much longer, which is a shame, because she has become her own beautiful piece of art. And that has always been my favorite, to smear the red over her pale skin and make her come alive again. But it’s gone an ugly brown now. There’s no more work to be done for her. And I was almost done with my masterpiece. Such a shame. I cheer myself up with the reminder that I can always bring another young lady home and clasp her in chains. After all, we can’t let the women leave without letting them see my work.
Painting is life … my life … how I do enjoy it.