When I had an antique store and people were constantly bringing me stuff to buy, I acquired some large portraits from the 1800s, the kind where the eyes follow you around the room. I hung three of my favorites in the upstairs back hallway of the big marriage house, only to find out years later that my kids were afraid to walk past them.
When I got divorced, the portraits in their heavy wooden frames ended up in the beach house garage. At some point they were moved into the house and into a walk-in closet. I bought a fourth portrait of a young woman in a jaunty hat and hung her in the beach-house hallway.
One night, when I got up at midnight to use the bathroom, the woman in the jaunty hat startled me. She was much too awake for the time of night, and she watched my every move untli I got back into bed.
The portrait of the jaunty woman came down and went into a cupboard. Every time I opened it, I would become startled by those eyes. But here’s the kicker. I can’t find her. Today I took the other three portraits out of their frames and stashed them into an artist’s portfolio case that I picked up brand new at a thrift store in my beach town. It is time to repurpose those gorgeous frames with more suitable art that won’t scare people out of their wits.
When I was done, I went looking for the woman in the jaunty hat, and she was nowhere to be found. I looked in cupboards, closets, and on the walls. Did I put something over her? I know I didn’t give her away. Scary or not, she is highly collectible.
Is she in the garage? I was just eating my lunch in the sun in the back yard when a swarm of bees drove me into the house. I could hear an airplane overhead but also very loud buzzing. I looked up and there were a thousand or so bees buzzing around my garage roof. I ran inside.
I think the bees are gone. I will look in the garage for the woman in the jaunty hat. If she’s not out there, then I’ll have no idea what happened to her. Did somebody using my house throw her out, because they, too, were creeped out by her eyes?
I’ve had some other things go missing. So many people have used the beach house that I’ll never really know what happened to the wooden marbles game or the other things. None of it is worth more than sentimental value, but still. How rude to use someone’s house and to help yourself to things.
I’m not renting my house anymore after somebody cracked the glass in the shower stall and didn’t bother to tell me or offer to pay for it. Now I have a shower stall that isn’t usable at the moment. It’s too small of a job for anyone to come out and fix it, especially in a pandemic.
But I digress.
It’s time to take back my house and keep the creepy portraits all to myself.
P.S. Obviously, I found her after I wrote this.