I walked into the tiny, incense filled shop as I had for years. Nestled in the second floor of a brownstone on Newbury Street, it had been the first shop I had ever visited when I moved to Boston four years prior. It was owned by two middle aged men with the softest, gentlest voices I had ever heard. The tiny, stuffy room was filled to the rafters with broken religious statues, gargolyes, stones, and various other strange and, at least to me, wonderful things.
But today was different. Today, there were heaps and heaps of strange, wonderful paintings littering the floor. They were all of ghostly figures, faces, the grainy, watery colors mounted on scraps of wood, and covered in a thick layer of wax. K-Bat and I dove at the stacks, picking through the paintings and swooning only as two 21 year old goth girls can.
"About a year ago, a punk band from Scotland came into the shop, and spent hours picking around, as people do. I chatted with the singer, Duncan, and he raved about how much he loved the shop. They left, and invited me to their show that night.
I went, and on the way, a strange feeling came over me that Duncan needed money, needed it desperately, but would never ask anyone. I couldn't shake the feeling for anything. This was a man I had never met, never seen before in my life. But I went to the ATM and took 200 dollars out of my account. I went to the show, I slipped him the money, and I left. Neither of us ever said a word.
Six months later, a crate appeared at the store. It was filled with these paintings. A note came with them, from Duncan. He wrote that ever since he had visited the shop, he had been having dreams of all the spirits who live here. He couldn't get them out of his mind, so he began painting them. He thanked me for the money I had given him, and told me that people would look through the paintings until they found "their painting." I should charge them what they could afford, and keep the money for the shop as thanks for my blind kindness that night."
He gestured to the stack, and said "You'll find your painting. Just keep looking."
And that's when I saw her.
I stammered that I only had 30 dollars, that surely it was worth so much more than that. The man shrugged, smiled, and said "It's your painting." I handed him the money, and left with my painting.
I have never named her. I figure if she has a name, she'll tell me. But even though I have moved countless times since I found her, I always keep her with me, watching over my bed. Wherever I go, she goes. No matter what.
Her face changes all the time. Whether it's a trick of the light, or the way the paint interacts with the wax, or something else, I don't know. But she is my prize possession. And this is her story.