The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part One: The Baker 4
Anton was a third generation American if I must use labels.
At early age he came to the equivocal realization that men are like raindrops speeding down from the sky, bound to be absorbed by the earth.
He fell in love with the Metaphor.
He believed he wasn’t meant for a businessman. He wanted to go through his short-lived flight down with more grace and leave something more meaningful than money behind. So! Very early he sank into philosophical depression. He took on drinking and other substance abuse trying desperately to find a meaning outside the Metaphor.
He was fond of drawing all through out school. Without financial concerns he stayed mostly home. Home being the guesthouse on his grandfather’s estate where he didn’t let go of the brush and everything else he could apply paint with. For he had used everything that could be dipped in paint and smashed on the canvas. He chose canvas because he wanted to stay close to the classic meaning of art. He did enjoy these times of leisure, away from the crowds and overly friendly people that he couldn’t relate to.
He believed friendships are only forged in the furnace of challenges, obstacles, and difficulties.
He considered those days the good ol’ days. He built a massive portfolio. For a few years he had painted thousands of canvases. Some good some bad. Some sober some drunk. He could always tell if a painting is exceptionally good or it’s anything less than that immediately after he finished it. He knew the ‘pink rhino’ possessed great originality and has imaged something that has not quite been imagined before.
His family was skeptic, to put it mildly, and he often had quarrels with his father who wanted him to take on the family business. Anton didn’t find the exploitation of poor people for the gain of the rich an appealing occupation. His father’s shortsighted narrow way to look at life fueled his artistic trills and he sank into a deep dark place with the only outlet being the canvas. He isolated himself even more from the world, he took on stronger sedatives and psychedelics. He was in the blackest of places.
Fortunately his grandfather was at an age when most old people start loosing their mind and start acting as children again. Naturally because they see the end is near. He didn’t care if Anton took over the business. He came to the guesthouse and stayed with him. Anton didn’t agree exactly, but he was his sponsor technically so he had to oblige. The Pipe’s wisdom telling and stories of simple life humbled him.
Most of the time during his stay with his grandson, he would pick a painting set it in the garden in the morning and stay in his wicker chair puffing on his ivory pipe. Clouds of thick smoke streaming upward from in-between the tropical flora was the only thing that reminded he was still there. The “Guy with the Pipe,” they called him, over time it boiled down to just “The Pipe.” Sometimes Anton would emerge from the bottomless abstract sea of color and shape and sit with him in the garden. They would sit for hours on without uttering a word. But when they talked it was timeless fiction.
Anton had become sentimentally attached to those conversations. To a huge degree the search for a good chat was what kept him going. The vast knowledge, wisdom and broad open mind of the pipe shook him to his very core. His kindness and love for life amazed him and gave his life a pleasant theme. The Pipe’s unparalleled ethics and fairness made him quit being a child and transformed him into a gentleman.
So he thought.
He left the dark hole he was in and approached life in way that would honor the Pipe. He still painted with the same vigor but with different colors.
next chapter: THE BAKER 5
previous chapter: THE BAKER 3
all chapters: The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer
more by PETER ODEON
cover art by MV