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10:30 at night (dishes washed, pot roast in the amber refrigerator dish) you got your second wind, went back into the studio, sat in your chair (white chair, smudges retouched with titanium white) and opened the clamshell trays of pigment (the trays from a salad bar as the career girls pushed, the pigments your pyramids). Flicked on the special lamp of true daylight, cast your eyes on last nightís work (too heavy, that line of gray). Picked up the flat size 6, swabbed its broad tip through oily cobalt. Walked a line of that blue next to that field of dark green. Delicious, wasn't it, the sound of paint rolling its edge across the canvas, bristles whispering into cotton. Outside in the streetís brash lights, people rushed home after dinners out, cabs barked and lunged for fares. A half hour, an hour you doted on your rectangles, golden sections of 8, 5, 3, the stalwart assembly of related but not similar colors (as you always pointed out): cobalt, flake gray, cerulean, prussian, ultramarine. You felt a twinge paring down that block of dark green, that dwindling tint that never mixed the same. By its formula in your pigment book you'd written not quite. The midnight streets turned leather in the drizzle, traffic thinned out. In your studio the canvas leaned back against the easel for a long conversation. Your husband called goodnight, got in bed for an old movie, soon the hap-happy of a dance number tapped on the walls. The lamp of true daylight buzzed loyally behind you. Crowded now, that green was causing trouble, a murky hole in the field. You only live once, you thought, and took up a dab of windsor blue, painted over the green, restored order to the world.

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