Paint It. Black?

A Wire-to-Wire painting marathon.

(page 2 of 2)


“I Feel Mysterious Today”

Observe the tension grow
The second is the no-fun day. It’s frustrating to open the cans again, pour the paint into the trays again, and wring the water out of the brush or rollers cleaned the day before.


“French Film Blurred” 

It’s not quite the way to behave
My crankiness rises like bile, but I choke it back and dive in. I’ve got no choice. The room’s not painting itself, and, besides, think of what a great feeling it’ll be to be done!



I feel old
Three hours later, I think: I’m never going to finish this room. I’m going to die in here. Some future archaeologist will find my body and wonder what crazy cult compelled me to clutch the bristled tool in my hand like it was an important relic.


“Sand in My Joints”

I’m feeling the pain
I have to keep switching which hand I brush with, my poor muscles tired after two days of this torture. My back cracks, my knees wobble atop the ladder, my neck’s frozen in a 20-degree list to the right.


“Being Sucked in Again”

Bound and gagged, 
your labor’s saved/ The cost minute, the rules are waved/ 
No hand, no step, your labor’s in vain
It’s time to pull the tape off, and I do in long, blue strips, except where the tape tears and leaves a paint-covered sliver at the joint between the wall and the trim. The last of the tape finally prized off with my fingernails, I can now see the ruin underneath. All the errors I made when I applied the tape. All the shoddy work I now have to fix.


“Men 2nd”

Hysterical, no humor
I’m on to the last round of painting: touch-ups. But it’s complicated, because there’s a swath of errant “Queen Anne’s Lace” over there, a stalactite of “Drawbridge” that runs down from the trim over there, and a four-foot-long, two-inch-wide section that needs another dose of ceiling paint.


“From the Nursery”

Would you like to see/ 
What violence these eyes can send?
I’m finally done, but I’m not happy about it. I can still see all the places where my work isn’t perfect: small gaps I missed and crooked lines that should be straight. No matter that everyone says you can’t even tell. I know the flaws are there. But there’s no way I’m spending another second working on this room.


“Too Late”

Is it too late to change my mind?
You know, the more I look at the room, the more I wish I had picked “Pearls and Lace” instead of “Queen Anne’s Lace.” Now that color would pop in there. I wonder how long it would take to repaint? 

Greg Akers is editor of MBQ: Inside Memphis Business and a frequent contributor to Memphis magazine.

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