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Archive for July 8th, 2013

At the end of April, my friends and I attended the Charleston Jailbreak. I worked a full eight hours this particular Saturday, and when I got home from work, I was super enthusiastic about life and ready to have fun. We met at our friend Adam’s house for a drink and a brief dance party in the kitchen before heading over to the Jailbreak. It was a great group of people, the weather was fantastic, and I was really happy with everything and everyone.

The Jailbreak was in full swing we when arrived, and I strongly encourage everyone to attend a Jailbreak at some point. The music was loud and awesome, and there were modern dancers wandering from room to room who would randomly breakout into choreographed numbers. There was every kind of artwork you could imagine, and I’m a sucker for artwork. The atmosphere was invigorating and life affirming, the darkness was perfectly complimented by the bright colorful lights, and I was with some of my favorite people.

By the time I stopped being distracted by the dazzling environment and hulu hoops, I tried to buy some food at a food truck. In an unfortunate turn of events, the food trucks grossly underestimated the crowd, and were mostly out of food. One truck gave me some grilled chicken and peppers, and I tried not to worry too much about it.

Then I found a piece of art that I HAD TO HAVE. It was an oil on canvas of palmetto trees. The street I live on is lined with palmetto trees, and I really liked the colors of this particular painting. And I adore trees. Especially paintings of trees. Greens and blues and browns with shadows of pinks and reds. Denise told me I should think about, and come back in an hour if I still wanted it. Obviously, an hour later I DID still want it, so I dragged Denise back to the painting and bought it. There was still about an hour left for the party, so I paid the artist, got my receipt, and said I would pick it up the next day.

We stayed until the bitter end of the party, and although I know we were there for at least three hours, probably four hours, I felt like we were there for 45 minutes. I remember sampling some interesting craft beers and restraining my desire to buy puppets and monster stuffed animals. As the party shut down, for reasons I still do not understand, I stopped by the room where my painting was hanging out, and convinced the volunteer clean up people to let me take it home with me. The artist had already gone home, but I was proud to show them my receipt.

I was the happiest person in America with my new painting, except for this one little voice inside my head that said, this is a bad idea, you should have left it and picked it up tomorrow. I ignored that little voice, and traipsed to the closest restaurant/bar with my painting in tow. We sat at a high top table, and I proudly leaned my painting against the wall on the little panel ledge. After a while, my friends refused to continue discussing my new treasure, and we moved to other topics and new friends.

At some point, a friend offered to drive a few of us home, and I jumped at the chance. As in, I jumped up, and left my painting leaning up against the wall. I realized that I left it when I got home, but by that point it was too late to go back, and no one answered the bar. I told myself that it would be there the next day, and not to worry.

The next morning, I went by the restaurant/bar as soon as I thought someone might be there, and the first worker said that if I left it, it would be in the manager’s office, who was not there yet. So I went home to worry. The artist, a gem of a person named Sam, called me to tell me that I could come pick up my painting between 2-4 that afternoon at the Jailhouse. Mortified, I had to confess to Sam that I took the painting with me the night before, and proceeded to leave it at the bar. I confidently told her that I was SURE it was still at the bar, and I was waiting for someone to call me back about it. I felt horrible, like I would feel if I left the gate open and your dog got out, or if I backed over your kid’s bike with my car, or if my dog ate all the cupcakes you just made and was standing on your kitchen table with icing all over her face. Or if you produced a piece of artwork and I got drunk and left it at the bar. Like that. Damn those food trucks and loud music.

Sadly, the restaurant/bar never found the painting. I assume it is hanging up in someone’s house around these parts, and fingers crossed I’m going to run across it at a party one day. Then I’m going to get loud. But on that day, and many days afterward, I beat myself up about the lost painting. I beat myself up for being fiscally irresponsible to buy something I wanted for purely aesthetic reasons and then immediately lose it. I beat myself for not eating dinner and overindulging in the spirits. I tried to chalk it up as a donation in support of local artists, reasoning that I’d wasted that amount of money before in much more frivolous endeavors and mistakes. I could have gotten a speeding ticket. I could have exploded my car battery with improper use of jumper cables (this ranks up there with one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done, and I was 32 years old at the time). I could have left a favorite pair of very beautiful heels at a wedding reception where I shouldn’t have been wearing heels in the first place because of injury, and not recovered them (I did actually recover them the next day, but I might not have). I could have gotten too excited at a wedding reception and jumped up and down, resulting in the sunglasses on my head falling to their shattery death on the concrete. I could have dropped my cell phone in the toilet (fyi, a bag of rice does wonders) or dropped it and cracked the screen. I could have dropped a friend’s new iphone 5 and cracked the screen. I could have missed a flight and had to rebook at a gouging rate. Really, the possibilities are endless.

But even after I stopped beating myself up, I was still real sad I lost the painting, because I really liked it. I considered asking Sam if she would paint me a replacement if I paid her, and I asked Catie, one of my favorite artist friends, if this was a good idea. She couldn’t really decided, so I didn’t. I just didn’t have the nerve.

Three weeks later, I got a text from Sam. She wanted to know if I ever found the painting, and if not, that she would repaint me a replacement, because she felt terrible that I bought a painting that I didn’t get to enjoy. I tell her I would LOVE for her to repaint me a replacement, but that she had to let me pay her for the supplies and the time. Sam said that she felt like I had already paid for the painting, and that she felt that the good karma would be enough payment. Y’all, I was so excited.

Two weeks after that, Sam delivered to me my new priceless piece of artwork. I know y’all have been waiting with bated breathe – so here it is!

Image

I am even happier with it than I was after the Jailbreak. This is just a photo I took of it hanging on the wall of my office, and I still haven’t decided exactly where it will live permanently, but I love it. I hope I make lots of new friends one day so I can retell the story over and over at my house without my current friends strangling me for being repetitive.

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