Trust. I heard today that trust is earned in an accumilation of tiny acts; acts to gain it and acts to lose it. It requires bravery to show the truest of cards and the free fall of letting others act on this vulnerability.
Here are some near and dear artists that have shared their cards with you.
Woman 1-Emily DeForest
I PAINTED HER AFTER A BREAKUP. Acrylic on Paper.
Inches and Months by Maggie Gayford
OKAY by Grace Parker
(KARA and JACK. The middle of the night. Sitting or lying on the bed in some weird way. Messy bun and bags under eyes.)
KARA: Of course I don’t trust you. Are you kidding? Of course I don’t.
KARA: Okay. Okay. Okay, he says. It’s not okay.
JACK: I don’t think what we’re doing requires trust.
KARA: I’m not talking about exclusivity. I’m not talking about you fucking an intern at work. I am talking about—
JACK: So you don’t trust me to like, watch your dog?
KARA: Well, frankly, no, but that’s not the point.
JACK: So what are you talking about?
JACK: I’m not going to be a “good texter” whatever the fuck that means I’m never going to be that.
KARA: Great, me neither. I’m not talking about “good texting” I’m talking about not hearing from you for three days.
JACK: I’m not a good texter!
KARA: I don’t understand. I don’t understand what we’re doing. So we’re two people who love each other who see other people—
JACK: What are you asking me for? What?
KARA: I think we need to not be in love with each other. I think that would fix it. Because then you would just be a person. And I wouldn’t care if I didn’t know where you were. And I wouldn’t care about telling you things. And you wouldn’t treat me like shit.
JACK: You’re saying I’m in love with you so I treat you like shit.
KARA: Yes because self-sabotage is your first gear.
JACK: I’m taking a shower.
(JACK gets out of bed)
KARA: It’s the middle of the night.
JACK: Yeah, it sure is. You know what I think? I think we need to stop fighting at weird hours. I think we should have a time. A scheduled afternoon “Fight about what we are to each other” time. Daily-- at 2PM. Over coffee.
KARA: Yes, Jack you’re very clever.
JACK: I don’t sleep anymore! I never sleep!
KARA: It was selfish of you.
JACK: What was, Kara?
KARA: It was selfish of you to tell me you loved me.
JACK: I’m taking a shower.
KARA: No look at me.
KARA: I need you to take it back. I think if we take it back then we can be okay again.
JACK: That’s not how talking works.
KARA: I’ll take back that I love you. And then I’ll take back that I don’t trust you, because it won’t matter.
JACK: How do put these thoughts together in the middle of the fucking night?
KARA: Go take a shower just go take a fucking shower.
(Beat. They look at each other. JACK goes into the bathroom and shuts the door. The shower turns on. KARA folds into herself. Dry, desperate sobs with no tears. She pulls out her phone.)
I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what I’m doing.
Yes, he is.
It’s just so hard Anna it’s just so hard.
I know I do.
I know I can.
I’m okay. Thank you. I’m okay.
(KARA hangs up the phone. A second. She takes her shirt off, throws it on the ground and goes to the bathroom. The shower turns off. KARA comes back out. JACK comes out after her in a towel. KARA wraps herself in a blanket like an 11 year old at a sleepover.)
JACK: We can’t keep doing this.
KARA: I know.
JACK: Why don’t you trust me?
KARA: Because you don’t treat me well. You just fuck me. Well.
KARA: Okay. Okay. Okay.
(KARA gets up. She starts putting clothes on.)
KARA: I am not in love with you.
JACK: You can’t just take words back that’s not how—
KARA: No. I’m not taking it back. I’m correcting myself. I was wrong. I’m not in love with you. I am in love with this.
JACK: I love you. I’m in love with you.
KARA: No you’re not, you’re in love with saying that.
KARA: It’s a lethal combination.
KARA: My life feels like a tornado. I don’t what kind of person chooses tornado.
Oh God it feels like I’m moving toward light.
JACK: What on earth does that mean?
KARA: No. We don’t have to worry about understanding each other anymore.
KARA: Oh that’s going to be such a relief.
KARA: Oh god it will be so nice to breathe again.
KARA: I think if I decided to trust you
I might lose myself.
JACK: I don’t know what that means.
KARA: That’s okay.
It’s really okay.
(End of play)
Woman 2 - Emily DeForest
I painted her before I broke up with a guy I loved, but who didn't have enough love for himself. Acrylic on Paper.
springs By Maggie Gayford
That place Frozen spinach ground beneath bare toes
Or that place Dog food air breathed into wasp-wing gut
Or this place Cold brew stains on half-zipped puffer coats
Next place Speaking well-worn words in heavy rooms
But next place Casting threads to anywhere but here
Oh next place Dancing spaces back into my spine
Which place Kicking dog-gnawed ball through walnut goal
Yes, which place Standing without seeing myself stand
Where, which place Gripping metal pole but no one else
Woman 3 by Emily DeForest
I painted her on the creation of a new love. In the journey to love myself within a new love. To keep loving me no matter what shape this external love took form. Acrylic on Paper.
Chad Knuth - NEW SUNDAY IN MARCH
Everything was dripping. The trees. The bushes. The wood. The lawn-chairs. The clotheslines. The air was mist and the mist consumed everything. Swallowed it whole. She’d packed her bags this morning before I awoke. I hadn’t seen her yet today. She was out. God knows where. There were two suitcases and a duffle. It was my duffle. But I wouldn’t fuss. Fussing over a duffle would mean this thing we shared was nothing. On the contrary, I hadn’t eaten in a week. She told me last month. I denied it. She told me last week. I said, “No. No you’re not.” She washed the dishes on Sunday night and dried them with a towel. She took her time. It took her an hour. I sat at the table, folding my napkin, over, and over, and over again. I watched her back. Watched as she scrubbed, and rinsed, and dried, then scrubbed, and rinsed, and dried. Her hair was in pigtails. She was a child. Always a child to me. When she finished the dishes she turned out the light in the kitchen. She turned out the light in the living room. She turned out the light in dining room, where I had been sitting, watching the years of my life walk about the house, putting things in order, putting me in the dark. I stayed seated till the morning. She walked passed me on her way to the shower, where I was still seated, holding my napkin. She never looked at me, but all the while, I looked at her, waiting for her to tell me she was wrong. To tell me she was a child. Playing a game. Changing her mind. I’d pissed my pants that night, sitting there at the table, holding my napkin. When I got up to change I saw my briefs had turned yellow. I stood in our room, stripping them off and holding them up to my nose, smelling my own waste. What was it that she hated? She had told me once before. Had told me how she loved another man. Or was it a woman? I hadn’t been hard in a month. I hadn’t touched myself in two. She had a way of crumpling me up into a ball of foil and tossing me in the basket to sit for eternity, not able to decompose, not able to be renewed. When she finally returned to retrieve her luggage, a woman came along with her, and a man too, and a child. They stood at the doorway, with the front door wide open. They stared at me from the doorframe. Watching me, sitting on the couch in my briefs, wondering if they had come to kill me. But no, they hadn’t come to kill me. They had come to watch, as I sat there, like ice cream in the sun, on this cold and rainy day, and wept. Wept for what I had lost. Wept for all I would regret in the days, and hours, and minutes left in my older years. She picked up her luggage and walked out the door, passed the woman, and the man, and the child, and climbed into her car, and started the engine, and drove away, in reverse, down the long and winding road that I could see through the doorway. And the woman, and the man, and the child, stayed there, in the doorframe, looking at me, waiting for me to show them, that there was anything else to see.