The Viewing

The Viewing

My brother is busy networking, handing out and receiving business cards. H and I take a tour. More fancy clothes. Frills that are waterfalls, floral leggings, very pointed shoes, like knives. We spot a couple of dated celebrities; Michael Portillo (of all people) and Floella Benjamin (let's look through the round window), who's looking shockingly good at sixty-four. Some of the portraits I'm not so sure about. A white haired man dressed in fuchsia tracksuit stood in front of a settee, a radiator behind and paintings on a wall. 'Who paints radiators?' H asks, and she's qualified to judge, she's an exceptionally talented artist herself. There's a small self-portrait of a woman's face, and clearly there's a lack of self-esteem here; all her features are smudged away, only the outline of her face and frame of auburn hair. She looks dug-out and ghostly. Where would you hang her? In the downstairs loo?

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