Thursday, October 22, 2009

Found Picture Trilogy. Two. Suave Man

When I picked up this picture at a garage sale, the seller made it clear that this was an expensive frame and that's why she wanted $14.00 for it. I didn't care anything about the frame. I was mesmerized by the man in the picture (she didn't know who he was) and I knew he had to come home with me.

In the picture, he stands beside a table near a doorway in his fine suit, his white handkerchief tucked artfully in his breast pocket. His cigarette burns in his fingers, and he is turned just slightly toward the camera. There is a table with a dramatic fringed tablecloth and a vase of flowers. It seems to have been taken in the lobby of a restaurant or nightclub and there he waits happy and suave. Perhaps he is greeter and he welcomes the regulars who come more for his greeting than for the food.

I hung this picture in our dining room. There are nights when I come in, dragging from work, change into my sweats, push the mail, homework, the groceries not yet put away to the far end of the table and plop food on the cleared section for dinner. All the while, he stands looking over the scene, but through his eyes he sees it all as the perpetual nightclub--low lights, beautiful people in gowns and suits, crystal glasses, fine food on sparkling plates, a jazz band playing in the background. We are the regulars he greets every night in his sophisticated, urbane way. From the table I lift my sloppy joe and Diet Pepsi in salute to him and he nods to me, so happy we are back, enjoying this fine establishment once again.

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