Five Points, Vol. 16 No. 1Spring 2014
From Stephen Dunn, “I am worried … once that I know what I am doing, I just might do it.”
Every Face Was in the Crowd
Deckinger had a painting by Evan Durant in his foyer, one of the larger canvasses, maybe four feet by six feet. How much it had cost him I didn’t know, but I knew other Durants, smaller Durants, had sold for more than thirty thousand. None of my friends could boast a foyer, let alone thirty large to decorate it. Rounding the corner into his living room I was confronted with a kind of optical mystery: the condo, which from its little brick façade should have been cozy if not cramped, was as spacious as the house I grew up in. That’s the type of magic money can make. A part of me hated coming to Beacon Hill, because I started to see price tags on everything: on the Durant, on Deckinger’s artisan dinner table and matching leather couches and the beveled lowball glass out of which he drank a spirit I didn’t want to know the price of. He had poured a glass for me as well. It tasted like a winter cake with candied fruit.
“I don’t know my spirits very well.”
“Cognac,” he said. “Paul Giraud.”
He surprised me by having the tact not to talk up the drink or say how much he’d paid for the Durant. I’d brought a portfolio for him to look at and I set it on the table and he flipped through it quickly, then said he’d thought I might bring some of the actual pieces.
“Pumpkins?” I said. “You wanted me to haul pumpkins here on the T?”