The canvas was drowning in paint. The chaotic brush strokes and loud colours overwhelmed his eyes. But he liked it. He liked the mess
Sought the pattern.
His finger lightly on the paper followed the lines and swirls. They lead to somewhere he wanted to be.
It seemed like total nonsense in acrylic but the motion calmed him.
It was a delusional dream really. To think he could help her.
He could tell from the painting that she was long gone. Trapped in her own mess.
As if under a spell she dipped her fingers into the paint and continued to depict her nightmare. Her golden locks covered the ground and she became lost in the sea of her hair.
Drawing circles on the canvas.
It was beautiful really, in a twisted kind of way.
But he couldn't let it go on.
"What does this symbolize?" he asked calmly, pointing to the half moon.
"It's a perfect circle," she spoke softly.
"But it's not a full moon"
"Exactly. Perfect circles don't exist in reality," She smiled proud of herself and the spell was broken.
"What about this?" he motioned to a green swirl of dark, dripping colour.
"That's a snake. Symbol of deceit, vindictiveness, vengefulness."
"And healing." he remarked.
"Serpent statues were placed in front of sacred spots and in areas where there were many sick. It was said that in those areas the Gods will provide healing and sanctity." he eyed the snake in question. "Ugly and angry looking specimens. Their venom can poison or heal depending on how it's administered."
She looked slightly upset. "No no. That's no good at all."
"They also symbolize rebirth" he continued, "Because of the way they shed their skin."
"This complicates things." she sighed, "Living was easier when I had my eyes closed."
"What's this?" there was a dark outline in a blank space.
"It's a white rabbit," she replied, "The white rabbit led Alice to the dark cavern. Because she kept chasing him. Rabbits in general symbolize love yet fear."
"Oh he was the one that was always late."
"Yes," she laughed, "Ah well. Time to start again."
She ripped down the canvas. He marveled at how what he originally thought was sprays of random colour and lines depicted something. He just had to look for the pattern in the mess. "It was quite a good painting. Why are you tearing it down?"
"The double-meanings wrecked it."
"Oh come ON Alice. What are you going to paint now? You better replace it. And if you do it has to be better."
"No I give up in art. And I can't read Shakespeare so I'm no good in Drama. Maybe I should try my hand in Philosophy. How hard can it be? Descartes. I think therefore I am."
"Problem is you don't think," Donnie laughed.
"Oh shut up. Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop!"
"Which philosopher was that?" Donnie asked
"Lewis Carrol." Alice replied as she sat down. "Hmmm beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. But what if I think my shadow's prettier." She mused and stared at the black gaping image on her wall.
"It's not real it won't amount to anything. There's nothing behind it."
Alice sucked at her finger.
"What's wrong?" Donnie asked
"Pricked my finger on a spindle by accident while seeing if I had a future in knitting." She showed him the cut, "It's alright. No big deal."
"Maybe it's time you woke up. Stopped living like a shadow." he whispered.
She looked at the ripped canvas and kicked at it. "What a meeess." she laughed. "Maybe I'll try my hand at an instrument."
"Or just go back to sleep."