Wednesday, January 18, 1995
Justine is an artist with big dangling earrings and a gypsy rag around her hair. An attractive woman, thirtyish, with a dimpled smile, she bought a wreck of an old house in La Honda and simply maintains it - that is, she hires me to maintain it, calling me frequently to replace a faucet washer or clean a gutter.
We joke a lot. I tell her that her paintings look like what would happen if Frida Kahlo dropped acid. She laughs. "That'll be my epitaph: Frida Kahlo on drugs."
As I work today, she's painting what appears to be a naked woman with a red body undergoing an abortion performed by lizards.
I'm a licensed General Contractor, insured and bonded, charging my full professional rate. My job today is to hang a curtain rod, mend a door latch, replace a light bulb. I tell her, "You should get a husband or at least a boyfriend, Justine. This is honey-do stuff. Think of all the money you'd save."
"You're expensive." She stabs black paint at her canvas. "But you're cheaper than keeping a man around the house. And you're a lot less trouble."