At first, I didn’t panic. Every painter has her throwaways, for every
good stretch a few days of self-doubt. But grey settled in, stayed
and was ruthless. Turned colour to sludge each time I daubed.
Wet cement. Pigeon shit. Stagnant pools. What was I to do?
I woke at dawn while Jackson slept, dreaming of long legs and
egg yolks. I shut the basement door, attempted to work until noon
when he rose. Coffee steaming in his sunlit studio. Later, I
brought him lunch, watched as he dripped and swirled, lunged
at his canvas. From his brush, spring exploded.
I almost gave up. One less rival to bad-mouth. Considered
surrendering to my married name. But I didn’t. Didn’t drink
myself dumb or bawl in the bathroom. Beat up a chair or knock out
a friend. For three dense years, I wrestled with grey, thrashed around
in its murk. When blue returned, I knew who I was. When grey
found Jackson, he drove headlong into it.