Sci-fi Novel - The Dream Artist - Part 13
Since our path was quite long, we went on the freeway with our capsule bikes. When I was driving that vehicle, I felt like an important guy. The neighborhood where painter C.'s house was located was a region of the city famous for its community problems.
When we approached painter C’s house, in contrast to what we were told, I had the impression that we were passing through an ordinary neighborhood where children played loudly. If the place where the navigation software point was correct, C.'s house was a one-story building in the garden. Under the curious gaze of the neighborhood's children, we descended from our bikes; Peri opened the garden door. We walked through the small garden and hit the button in the Big C letter next to the door. We waited for a long time and didn't see any movement at the door, I pressed the button longer and more insistently, and Peri sent a message to C.. The door opened just as we were about to give up hope. We had a half-bold long-haired old man standing in front of us.
“You honor my poorhouse,” he said like the waiter who welcomes his customers to the restaurant. C. had a white T-shirt and a capri pants, showing the lines of his body despite his advanced age. The room we entered was merely furnished, except for two Berjer seats, a coffee table, and a full-length mirror.
“Come in the seats, I sit here,” he said, pointing out the cushion that he pulled out of the back of the tall mirror. “I'm dived so deep to the yoga session that I didn't hear you coming. I did not reject your request for a meeting because the beautiful lady mentioned that you are a friend of my friend Selim Özben. Normally I'm not seeing members of the press,"
I tried to say, “we're not members of the press, we are investigating Selim Özben's disappearance...”
“I know, man, that's what I said. My age has progressed so far that I have become a full-fledged old man; for 50 years I have been engaged in art, I can immediately understand people's wishes and intentions without any need for words. For example, the beautiful lady has a very calm spirit. I've never seen anyone so peaceful like her before. A Mediterranean stillness, like the blue of her eyes, has surrendered her soul. You seem to have a deep wound, a great problem that even you don't know. If I'm babbling, excuse this old boy, but I liked you.”
Since I saw the C.'s potential of extending the word and diverting the subject, I went directly to the issue: “When was the last time you saw Selim Özben?”
“I don't remember the date clearly, but it's been at least two years. My brother Selim was born with a darkness in his heart like me, so I had a good deal with him. The deceased mother of Selim, Sedef Özben was a close friend. Like the magician taking a rabbit out of a hat, he took a lot of sad stories out of the darkness of his heart. We didn't see each other very often because we were busy, maybe once a year, maybe a little more often. When the last time he came, we walked together to the heart of the neighborhood where the people was most vulnerable. It's a special area behind my house where gangs are fighting with each other to dominate, and you can find all kinds of drugs. Critics would be able to interpret my paintings better if they knew that the traces of crime, passion, drugs, and dreams of all kinds had leaked through the canvas from the wall of my studio. Even though the idiot critics haven't noticed for years, these are people that feed me, that makes the darkness in my soul warm up and revive and become fertile. After midnight, we walked through empty streets to the heart of the region with no one but cats and mice were present as Selim needed a stressful environment due to his profession. The poor young boys of the neighborhood had warned us not to come to that neighborhood again after they beat us and got our money. I looked at my Selim brother's face when they left us by kicking. There was no sign of remorse on his face. I'm not mad at those kids. I'm angry at this brutal order that condemns them to those isolated neighborhoods, narrow houses, unemployment, and misery. It is a great fool to expect children you don't tame with your love, to become a decent citizen when they grow up. In fact, the capitalists and their servants must know that it is foolish to wait for a return without any investment. It's like hoping to get a big bonus without a lottery ticket. My dear friends, you have to get angry with the masters of the order, who unite their will with the coldness of the machines and besiege weak people like us."
“Did you know Selim Özben disappeared about a month ago?” I asked.
“I've heard that wild capitalists, unworthy demons who value nothing but money have kidnapped him. I think we artists are the ones who remind people that they are vulnerable, weak, or somehow infinitely powerful. Art is significant in revealing people's great feelings, and those who worshiped power and money are the greatest enemies of noble feelings”. He was quiet for a moment, and then he hurried up and said, “Please let me prepare you a lemonade with fresh lemons, the fruit of the lemon tree from his poor garden, and the mint he collected with his own hands this morning.” Then he went to the kitchen.
We looked at each other smiling. “He speaks fluently,” I said.
“Funny guy,” said Peri.
C. came out with two big glasses of lemonade with orange pipes in them. When drinking our lemonade, he told us about the dignity of the people in his neighborhood, his appreciation and how the order victimized them. “I don't want you to leave before you see my workshop.”
“Of course, we would love to,” said Peri.
C.’s workshop was a dim room with no window opening out. The lamp on the corner almost illuminates itself. There was no canvas, no paint, just a large chair in front of the wall that looked like an electric chair.
“You'il understand the system better after I open my canvas.” A window-size area on the wall came forward with the sign of ’C,' the canvas looked like a big TV screen. At the bottom of the screen, there were hundreds of small squares representing different shades of color.
“I'd love to see you painting,” said Peri.
“I can start my painting session today when you're here if you like, but once I start, I focus so much on my work that I don't get a chance to say goodbye, “said C.
“We know the way,” said Peri.
C. settled in the electric chair like an admiral sat in the control seat of the mother ship of Armada, took a long pencil-like brush in his hand and touched the screen as soon as the lights emitted from the screen illuminated him. He was working on a painting containing surreal figures, which seemed to remain unfinished from the previous days. The electric chair raised up and down and left to the right as he worked. He seemed to have been integrated with the virtual canvas.