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The Canvas

Open scene. A black man, dressed in a suit and tie leans casually against a wall. Across from him is a short, incredibly fat white man in a smock. He is painting a picture. The smock is too big and he keeps tripping on it. There seems to be something horrifying about his own picture and he continuously mutters.
Whiteman: “Oh God. OH GOD. OH GOD!”
The black man continues looking on in silence. He lacks emotion, clearly trying to figure out what to think. Again and again the little fat man stumbles back, and throws up his hands, aghast and then returns to his painting.
Black man: “Maybe if you used a different color?” An eyebrow gives away a certain curiosity on his face.
White man: Pulling a flask from his smock,“ No! No! The color is fine. Fine. It needs more depth. Yes.” Furiously he smeared more paint on the canvas and attacked it delicately with the brush, flecks of paint spitting about his face.
The black man leans forward from his wall and squints at the canvas. Again it seems like he is trying to decide what to think.
The white man is again aghast at his changes and throws up his hands with a shrill cry.
White man: “GAH! No, no, no.” This time he falls to his knees and holds his head in his hands. A sob escapes.
The black man continues to look with curiosity.
Black man: After a few minutes of pondering he addressed the crying man. “That’s better! I like it.”
White man: “No one asked you! It’s not better. It’s tragic.” He raises a tear streaked face, and gazes up almost reverently.
Black man: “Tragic? It’s a painting. And not even a great one… no offence.”
White man: Again aghast, he looks up from his gaze in another wave of horror. “It’s not the painting… it’s the brushes. My beautiful brushes…” with a smile he stuck out his pink little tongue and licked his brush artistically.
Black man: “Brushes? You are insane, little man.” He stands straight and makes as if to leave the room, uninterested.
Whiteman: Red faced, he stands and sprints at the black man and in an intense effort that pops all his veins he leaps screeching onto the black man’s leg. “AIIIEEEEE”
Black man: Without even stopping he walks out if the room with the Whiteman still attached hanging off his leg. Stopping in the door way he finally looks down, confusion on his face. “What are you doing now?”
White man: “I am trying to be understood.”
Black man: “You aren’t doing a very good job, you know.”
White man: “That’s your perspective. I think from this angle, I am doing quite exactly what I am trying to do.”
Black man: “Which is?”
White man: “To be listened to!”
Black man: “That’s all I’ve been doing!”
White man: “Yes but your ears were blocked.”
Black man: “Were they?”
WM: “Your artist’s ears were definitely blocked.” He still hangs on, staring up in lost innocence. The black man simply looks back.
BM: “Nonsense I heard everything. You didn’t have all that much to say.” He shakes his leg and the White man slides off and hits the floor with a bump.
WM: “I’ve said everything! But no matter I’ve just started!’
BM: “You promise to say more? I can’t stand your company otherwise.” Again he leans against the wall as the Whiteman walks back to his canvas whilst rubbing his rear.
WM: “Let me! Let me!”
BM: “I guess.” All of a sudden, a girl, attractively nothing to make a big deal about, enters the room. The black man continues to lean at the wall and stare at the white man. The white man continues to work.
She surveys the scene. She walks over the black man, looks up and down and smirks.
Woman: “Hello, you”. The black man looks up at the girl and then turns away. The girl turns to look at the painting. She clasps her hands and fills with glee.
Woman: “Well I’ll be! Magnificent. Glorious!” She rushes over to the painting.
Woman: “It’s an other- worldly masterpiece.” She rushes back to the black man. She leans flirtatiously towards him and grabs hold of his arm.
Woman: “Say, doesn’t that remind you of someone?” She looks up into his eyes and blushes. The black man turns back, examines her, then looks away again and shrugs.
BM: “Not really.”

The Woman pouts and falls away from him. She notices the White man and rushes up to him, pink skirts swirling about her girlish figure. She stops just short and watches him stare at his painting, stroking his chin all the while, as she takes him his little rotund figure she exclaims to herself.
Woman: “How perfect! How fantastic! I will take it!” Her face twists with delight.
The little man looks up suddenly from his painting.
WM: “You think so? I have been telling him that you know. He has no sense of the beautiful.”
Woman: “I know it! Come! Tell me you see me in the painting!” The white man turns to his painting, turns back to the girl, and then back to the painting.
WM: To the black man “Do you see it?”
BM: “See what?” Absent mindedly he pulls a cigarette case from his jacket. Opening the case he studies the contents.
Women: “See me!!” again she pouts this time stamping a little foot twice on the floor. The black man pulls out a cigarette and sticks it in his mouth. He doesn’t seem to have heard.
WM: “Wait! Wait!” He points frantically to the painting and stares at the woman. “Yes! You are right! Fantastic! Wonderful!” He stamps his foot in triumph. To the black man “You see!?”
Woman: “I will take it!” She rushes to the little man and falls to his feet. He grabs her, kisses her, and rips off her pink dress. She squeals with delight, and clutches at his chubby neck.
A little old lady enters from the doorway by the black man, who searching his pockets in frustration, an unlit cigarette dangling from his lips.
Old Woman: “MY. Oh my my my." The black man looks up and curls a lip.
BM: “I know… I don’t have a blasted lighter.” He takes the cigarette, looks at it forlornly, and sticks it back into his lip.
Old Women: “But what about them!” She points a bony finger at the obscenities taking place. “Such violence! Such indecency!” The white man and the women are competently lost in one another and making passionate sounds. It is deafening in the little room.
BM: “Interesting!”
OW: “You can’t mean you are just noticing!”
BM: “But of course! It is obvious now.” He looks at the old women with satisfaction. “You are brilliant.”
OW: “Disgusting!” She stares at the couple and leans against the wall with the black man.
BM: “Do you have a light?”



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