This started off sometime in high school with my desire to make fun of the stereotype of malcontent poets and the line I don't want to be happy. I want to make art., with a fading critic who goes to his (former) friend's performances and pretends to like them to cling to relevance. It then morphed into this.
[I first wrote this around a year ago (Summer 2018). It sat in my files for so long because I didn't like it. I asked a critique buddy to read it a few months ago and didn't really edit it until now. I'm still not sure how I like it. Also somewhere in my files, there's the beginning of another version told from the wife's perspective where the paintings talk. It probably would have had a happyish ending if I'd ever wanted to finish it, but I'm kind of done. Here's good fluff from the Toast instead.]