The French woman’s daughter takes class with my daughter. She has her small boy in her arm. He has white blond hair.
I’m 38, she said. It didn’t seem that she knew that she was unhappy. She clearly was homesick. She talked like a newcomer who feels she has to tell her life story, that her existence is threatened if she can’t recount it. She talked mostly to my wife and now and then glanced at me. I liked to look at her dark brown eyes and dark brown hair. I thought of being homesick when no one is alive to go home to and only the place and its customs remain and how still and pewter black the Willamette river looked at night. The French woman had lived in San Francisco. She said that it rains there as often as it does in Portland and that it had depressed her. I didn’t think that she would survive her depression in Lake Oswego where she had moved to to live with her in-laws in a ranch house even though she had wanted to live in Laurel Hurst.
I could see that the French have something of their own and that she knew that she had that something peculiar to the French. I could see that her older boy looked nothing like her and must look like his father who probably was a blue eyed time is money wasp. Her young boy walked away from her to the door and didn’t open it. He may not have wanted to open it or he may not have known how. We saw the French woman, whose name I forgot after my wife had reminded
me what it was, forty five minutes later inside a furniture store owned by a distempered Dutch woman. My wife wanted me to have a look at a sofa with impressively short legs.
I was thinking about how lonely I felt when I saw the French woman and her boy
as I read the plaques on alders, douglas firs, birches, and monkey tail trees when a skinny dissipated out of breath young man in his twenties ran alongside  us and pleaded for us to call the police and continued running holding his side with his hands as two young women and another
skinny young man followed him two minutes behind. He’s an idiot, said the wider of the two women. He’s a thief. We know him.
J was laid back and laconic. He rifled through my drawings with his talons and chose forty of them. He sold four drawings. He pocketed fifty percent of the money. I was elated to have sold them. I had never sold work through a gallery.
I would have liked to have sold more but he wasn’t able to commit. For the past six months I have sent him images of my new drawings. He said that my last drawing of Amy Bishop was great which lifted my poor morale. He usually doesn’t respond to the images I send. He does always thank me. He’s a very polite and sensible man.
You don’t care about my work J, I said. I’m less sure that J will show my work. S said that he is in a holding pattern. J said that 2009 had been an awful year for him and that the gallery’s grim outlook had shut him down. I know the feeling. I hadn’t seen a therapist for two years and I was getting my meds from a regular Doc.
I fear H is deluded. I will leave him to his brother who was hated by my mother. The last time I saw his brother was when I was ill eight years ago. H didn’t want me to be there when his brother came to visit. My wife and I kept to ourselves in another room.