Jo sat drinking her coffee, listening to Michael as he described his walk and his attempts to capture the way the light had sparkled on the sea. As always, his attempt had been sabotaged, this time by a child chasing a dog across the sand and breaking his concentration. Jo smiled inwardly – it was always the same, always his work failed on account of other people, never ever him…
The only time he was punctual was with the promise (bribe?) of coffee – afternoon tea – supper, it didn’t matter which. These pleasurable interludes formed the backbone of Michael’s day, and punctuated his work.
He did try and he did have talent, but somehow the great future predicted for him, the
It hurt. Over the years the hurt showed more, in the receding hair, the tight lines around the mouth. Disillusionment was setting in. Ten more years and it would mean he could no longer lift a paintbrush, no longer look with far seeing eyes at a blank page and see the magical mix of colour and light that denoted success.
By then the coffee or afternoon tea would have given way to stronger substances, the lunchtime drink that would last into the afternoon, destroying will power and the last of his ability to get to work on time – ignoring Woody Allen’s words that 90% of success is turning up. His working day was starting later, having more interruptions and ending on the slightest pretext.
He was still a good looking man though despite the hurt, or maybe because of it. It added character to his face – and it was a face that Jo loved.