On the final block to his apartment, Jean turned his walk into a skip, a momentary celebration noted by an old woman sweeping debris into the gutter. You think I’m crazy, well, I am, he thought as he passed her. When he reached the entrance, he turned to see her staring at him. He grinned and waved at her.
Inside he placed the money on the kitchen table:$125. She’d been a pleasant woman dressed in running clothes. He had assumed she was browsing and had no money with her when she returned a second time to view the large painting of two pears on a plate.
“I’ll take it, please.” He had mouthed her words over and over again on his return.
Jean stepped quietly down the hallway to the sun filled room where his brother sat holding a paint brush by his lips–he was staring at an easel that held a large, blank canvas board.
“$125,” said Jean.
The brother turned towards Jean.
“I shall miss them.”
“Can I make you lunch?” We can finally afford some good cheese and bread.”
“That would be nice. I can paint more pears for dinner!” The brothers laughed together.
“I’m off to the deli,” said Jean.
When the door closed, the brother stood up, arms extended out. He found the hallway and proceeded along the white wall with the grayish trail of fingerprints that traced his many trips. He whispered, “To think someone wants pears I paint but cannot see. Joy!”