The other day I was sitting on a park bench, when all of a sudden Vincent showed up and sat next to me. Great guy. As we warmed up to each other, he told me that he was an artist too. That explained the paint on his trousers. He told me he wished he was famous like Michelangelo. Everybody appreciated him he said.
Then this guy named Albert came over and sat with us. He had a thick moustache, which made it even harder to make out his words beneath his overpowering German accent. While I chatted with Vincent, Albert sat content stroking his moustache. I thought he was a little quirky, especially because it wasn’t even Movember. He sported it well however.
Vincent was 35 years old, just a few years older than I was. He explained to me that he suffered from intense anxiety. I felt for the guy. He too began painting in his early twenties, but he created way more paintings than I had – i think he said around 2000, but had only sold one piece of his art. I thought that was a sad thought. He changed the subject quickly, and began telling me about how he burnt his tongue on his porridge that morning. His nervous energy was agitating, but somehow I was drawn to keep chatting with him.
All the while, Albert just sat there content with just listening to Vincent and I chatter away. He must be lonely I thought. Either that, or he’s some kind of crazy genius trapped in his own head. Regardless, I was enjoying my conversation with Vincent, so we carried on.
Then out of no where, Vincent said he had a new concept for another painting and took off.
Albert and I sat in awkward silence for a few minutes before I left.
A couple years later I read in the newspaper that Vincent Van Gogh had died. I wish I could have been there for him to encourage him in his final days. I could have painted with him. Maybe that would have stopped him. After he died, rumour has it his paintings began selling like hotcakes. I even bought a small one. It made me wonder why people appreciated him more after he was gone.
He was famous now. But when he was alive, he was barely known at all. How do people become famous? Maybe Vincent was right – it happens when people appreciate you. Then I realized that I appreciated Vincent that one day on that park bench. He was alive and famous maybe for just that one day.
Now its time to make everybody famous.