-Daniel Silva, Portrait of an Unknown Woman
Saturday, August 6, 2022
On any other day, Julian would have tossed it straight into the rubbish bin. Or better yet, he would have fed it into Sarah's professional grade shredder. During the long, bleak winter of the pandemic, when they had sold but a single painting, she had used the contraption to mercilessly cull the gallery's swollen archives. Julian, who was traumatized by the project, feared that when Sarah had no more needless sales records and shipping documents to destroy, it would be his turn in the machine. He would leave this world as a tiny parallelogram of yellowed paper, carted off to the recyclers with the rest of the week's debris. In his next life he would return as an environmentally friendly coffee cup. He supposed, not without some justification, there were worse fates.