Wednesday, October 31st, 2001 9:08 pm (pandemo)
Refrigerator Art -- Intermezzo
Late that afternoon, catching up with the first load of refrigerators to arrive, duly stripped of their motors, coils, and as much meadow crud as would come off easily, Despina is depressed. Eying the shape they are in, she begins to wish she had done more than just pick up brushes and assorted enamel outdoor paints.
Why didn't I suggest running them through the spray washer at the local gas station? Hauling water from the river to scrub them down is really going to be a pain.
Seeing the look on her face, Paul Peter winks, then quips, "Think Tom Sawyer."
Saving the largest one for outside her hovel for the personal belongings she doesn't want buggy or damp, Despina has the rest placed outside the "back door" of the school in a semicircle.
Clapping her hands together for attention, she asks, "Which group can wash their refrigerator the cleanest the fastest?"
The high school boys quickly get her fridge unloaded, then head for the river with every available pail they can scrounge. Targeting hers for their project, the thing soon looks as good as it is going to, inside and out, without a paint job.
Another project is started under Bruno's supervision. Excess washers are collecting the supplies needed to build sturdy wooden frameworks to support book shelves inside the various fridges.
Miguel comes up and begs to look at her paints. Selecting a few bright shades and one of the medium sized brushes, he dashes off. Soon Guillermo appears. Another brush and most of the rest of her colors abscond to school with him.
"Horst bring out more with last load," offers Bruno, holding out his cell phone.
Gratefully, Despina dials the hardware store from the number on her receipt, putting in an order for several more brushes of various sizes and the colors HER painting project will need.
Taking a marker, she begins an outline that wraps around the refrigerator, inside and out. Starting on the right hand side, small horses are running across a field. As they turn the corner to the back of the unit, they increase in size. They become even larger as they move onto the left panel, and come face first at the viewer, full size or slightly larger, on the front. When the door is opened, one explodes from inside onto the door, larger than life, nostrils flaring.
"Very dramatic. Do they have names?" inquires Paul Peter in passing.
"Of course. Once they are painted, you might even be able to call some of them correctly."
"Let me guess. Raven on front and Debut inside, right?"
"I want to be here when the children see what you are doing. It ought to cause quite a stir."
Early Saturday morning, she begins. She paints diligently, whistling happily, until it becomes too hot to work, makes a journal entry, then sleeps the sleep of the dead until the evening cool arouses her. She paints again until it is too dark to see to mix the paint properly.
"Señorita, what if it rains?" Sarita asks softly.
"We'll just have to move it inside until it dries. But it would not DARE rain on my herd before they are protected."
Fortunately, the rain waits until the clear coat is dry. Despina is surprised to discover that the tribe has given her credit for holding the rain off the few crucial days, based on her frivolous remark to Sarita.
Since the hovel pretty effectively blocks her personal fridge from view, it is not until things are practically dry enough to accidentally touch without damage before her project is generally discovered, so involved are the students in the painting going on behind the school roof support posts.
Juan discovers it with a shout that draws all the rest. "¡Mira! ¡Una rumada!"
Guillermo, eyes wide, approaches reverently.
"Abrelo," suggests Despina.
Opening the door wide, he leaps back, staring at the two tone stallion seeming about to trample him.
One by one, each person opens the door, gaping at the image that pops up.
"Necesitamos más." says Guillermo, afire with new ideas.
Last updated 3/9/02.
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