• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 11
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Wanted: Life Model. No Experience Necessary.

Slowly suffused in suffocating orange. I loathe orange. Not the fruit, but the colour. It is dense and sickly. It sticks to me. Orange and yellow, those two ‘natural’ colours, which look anything but when we attempt to create them ourselves. Shouldn’t be allowed.

Bad enough that I should have to sit here. My arms aching, the lactic acid just beginning to bite. Sit here whilst she paints me. Covers me in hateful orange, until I am steeped like over-brewed tea. They didn’t mention that in the advert.

The spray her assistants use to coat me completely has a nasty antiseptic tang. I joked at first that they were using Agent Orange. They looked worried then but didn’t know what I was talking about. Bloody kids. They know nothing these days.

That’s when the oxygen mask came out. Just in case, they said. Not necessary, they said, but in case you have an allergy. Are you intolerant? I’d been asked at the start. I answered no, but I wish to change that response now. Yes, yes I am. I’m intolerant of artists and their ‘concepts’ and I’m allergic to bloody orange.

In the end just the harp remained orange. It too had its life sprayed away. So thoughtless, so careless. And all for art. So-called. They covered me in a white sheet. To hide the blistering on my skin. The welts appearing from an outraged reaction to too much orange. Or too much artistic bullshit.

Why a harp, I asked? Because it represents us plucking at the strings of life, they replied. A woman creating her own story through the notes she chooses to play. Really? It represents clutching at fucking straws, I thought.

But I didn’t say that. I couldn’t. The oxygen mask had melted to my face.