Love is never what you think. When a painter goes beyond the degree of intimacy that provides the connection between him and his newly-discovered muse, he is forced to undergo a re-evaluation of the true meaning of love. In a strange twist on the Dorian Gray theme, perhaps the artist steals the subjectís essence as love and art meld into one.
At the corner of my eye, something moved and I turned to see what it was. Fifty or sixty yards away from us on the edge of the sand, an old man was sitting on a bench, gazing towards the sea. The sound we were making must have caused him to jump and the movement startled me. Now his eyes were meeting mine, causing a jolt of recognition, even understanding, to explode in my heart. No, somewhere deeper. In my belly, from where it surged in a torrent of blood down through my legs and feet, and up into my chest, arms, fingers and at last into my mind. I felt as if I might faint. But I didn't. Instead I gazed at him in astonishment.†
He was old, a thin wiry body wrapped in a green fisherman's jumper, faded cords protecting his legs. His hands were gnarled like the rocks, strong fingers burnt brown by the sun. But it was his face which captured me, even at such a distance, and never really let me go.