Vladimir Kush, The Black Purse
The woman in black
Vladimir was a Russian painter. A street painter. He couldn’t afford a car, clean suits or any pieces of luxury.
Igor, otherwise, was a rich man. A business man, who owned half of St. Petersburg.
How can two different men be in the same story, you ask. There are things we can’t control, and their way of living was meant to collide.
Everyday Igor crossed the street where Vladimir painted. And every day he was there, painting what it seemed to be the same person.
A pale woman with blonde hair. Thin arms and legs, always covered by a black dress. She had a ballerina bun, which gave an incredible softness to the whole painting. It seemed like a weird mix of pain and joy, sorrow and fierceness, leaving and staying.
That man, painting the same woman everyday surprised Igor. How can an artist be so repetitive?
He kept crossing the street, noticing Vladimir. But then one day, he stopped. He entered the street and watched him. It wasn’t possible for that painter to remind all the details about the imaginary woman.
And then he saw it; a black dot appearing on the top of the street. The dot started to become bigger, transforming itself into a woman-shaped thing. And a woman it became.
It was like a river flowing, a marvelous march descending a staircase. How could a woman in black be so brilliant?
She walked by. An unbearable soft tension remained.
Igor couldn’t help approaching Vladimir.
- I’ve always wondered why you always paint the same woman in all your paintings, but now I understand.
- It’s not the same woman.
Igor was confused. It was the same woman, he could see it!
- What do you mean? It is the same woman, I just saw her and she is stunning!
Vladimir looked at him, with an expression of judgment, like he had said what everybody else had already said.
- What you saw was not a woman; it was what you wanted to see in a woman. That’s why I say it’s not the same woman. Every day I paint a new sight of her, a new detail, a new side of the person you just saw. When this woman starts to be the same every day, my work is done. Do you understand that?
He didn’t. But then he looked at the canvas. A white naked body. Her body. And then he understood. The painter saw everything he didn’t.
Igor walked away. Not sad or disappointed; he walked away knowing that she belonged to Vladimir, whatever that meant. Even if he could never have her.
de Beatriz Saraiva - 11ºL
Nota: Este texto foi publicado com a autorização da Beatriz Saraiva, do 11º L. Qualquer reprodução sem a sua autorização atenta contra os princípios dos direitos de autor.