‘I don’t see this being reasonably manufacturable.’ Norman touched his hand to the canvas. The bright white stretched up and to the side for a mile. He gave it a gentle push. ‘It’s stretched really taut, too…’
‘No, no, you got it wrong.’ Robert took a few steps back and gave the plane another long look. ‘I meant art in the same sense that crop circles are art.’
Norman did a double-take turning to face his colleague. ‘You mean, “out of this world”?’ Air quotes complemented his judgmental expression.
‘Imagine!’ But a few moments later, his enthusiasm had worn off. ‘Or like a prank to make us think so. I don’t know.’
‘That sounds like an expensive one to pull though.’ He pulled a pen out of his chest pocket. ‘Let’s be generous and say you pay two and a half bucks per square foot of canvas.’ Muttering his stream of thought, he scribbled some calculations onto the endless empty.
Ten thousand five hundred sixty.
The two jumped. ‘Did you hear that?’
‘Can I… have that for a quick second?’ Robert yanked the pen out of Norman’s grip, and put it to the canvas. After a few quick strokes, he took it off again. He had drawn a stylized bird, the way his father had taught him.
Norman took the pen back. ‘Let’s not defile this further I guess.’
‘Look! Look!’ Robert was staring intently at his drawing. With his head pressed against the cloth, he could see: it was peeling off. Starting at the head, the lines slowly fell off the canvas. Like they had solidified, got rejected.
A nearly inaudible pop shook the pair as the bird’s tail left the canvas. For a brief moment, it hung in the air. The very next, it flapped its wings and flew up into the sky.
“Dude, you gotta paint my recently deceased loved one.”