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23 October 2006 @ 10:48 pm
Lower East Side, Manhattan: Isaac's Studio  
Open to Simone.

Isaac realised, blearily, that it was daylight because his eyelids seemed to be painted cadmium red on the inside, and that meant there was more light than just streetlights and starlights and the occasional police helicopter. Daylight meant getting up out of bed--was he even in bed? His back seemed to suggest he wasn't, so at least he was a step closer to the end goal. Daylight also meant that Simone would probably be over. She hadn't been by, not since the overdose. So she would be, more than likely. To pick up paintings or to lecture him on how much electricity he was using or something stupid that meant, in Simone-world, that she cared, that she was invested in him. Art was a language of subtleties, and he knew Simone's well. He should, after all this time. He knew her language and she knew his, and that should be enough to make sure they could communicate, but shoulds rarely panned out into actualities. That, Isaac had to admit, was frustrating. Spanish, English, body language, sketches, something should make sense. Something.

Groaning, Isaac opened his eyes and pulled himself upright. He was on the floor, and the latest canvas was there on the easel, completed, unremembered. It made Isaac's head hurt to look at it, so he just dragged himself to the bathroom to splash water on himself and try to remember which day it was. She'd probably ask if he knew, anyway, and having an answer would be a good first step.
Current Mood: groggygroggy
enabling on October 24th, 2006 03:30 am (UTC)
Simone had put off coming by for as long as she could have and not hear the niggling of her conscience. She knew Isaac, knew his habits, knew exactly what he was like when she didn't check in on him. It was why he needed her. Why she kept coming back. Nevermind that his rent was due, and if he'd done exactly like she thought he'd done, he probably would have hocked his wallet.

Straightening her shoulders, Simone slid the key into the keyhole and gave the knob a sharp twist, moving over the threshold and shutting the door behind her. Even with the open windows the loft was dark in comparison to the outside world. And cold.

"Isaac?" she called, pushing the set of keys into her pocket and adjusting her grip on her suitcase.
Isaac Mendez: Portrait of the artist//greyviridian_hue on October 24th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC)
The water stopped running and Isaac stuck his head out of the bathroom. His hair was soaking wet around his face, dark and curling, dripping water onto his bare chest, and he smiled a little bit. Even with the friendly expression, he looked gaunt, haggard, exhausted. "Thought you'd be by," he said.
enabling on October 24th, 2006 03:59 am (UTC)
It was an automatic reaction, her eyes flinting down his body. Rather than react directly to it, she moved to the newest canvas. Like all the others, the scene was omnious, but the expression in the faces looked so alive it gave her goosebumps.

"You've been busy," she mused aloud, the statement a subtle way of asking a very obvious question.
Isaac Mendez: Portrait of the artist//greyviridian_hue on October 24th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
"Yeah, a little bit," Isaac agreed, grabbing a towel that looked remotely clean from the bathroom and rubbing at his face and hair. He resolutely ignored the way the towel smelled, however; mildew and something else, something he didn't want to think about. "It's not for sale."
enabling on October 24th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
Simone frowned. "Why? What's wrong with it?"

It was like clockwork, the dialog. He would rattle off a hundred reasons why it wouldn't sell, all of them over-analyzed, and she would have to convince him otherwise. She thanked her father every day for convincing her to take Logic and Debate.
Isaac Mendez: My work and nothing moreviridian_hue on October 24th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
"It's just not," Isaac said simply, and started the process of rooting around for a shirt. He'd pick one up, inhale, and toss it aside based on the smell, the amount of paint splattered across the fabric. "Take one of the others. The earlier ones," he said, jerking his head towards a stack of paintings by the door. "This one goes with the others."

The others. The ones he painted high and didn't remember. The ones that were images of the future. The special ones. The ones that Mattered. He couldn't sell those, not for anything. He just couldn't. They meant something.
enabling on October 24th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
"The others aren't half as good, and you know it," she replied sharply, putting down the suitcase and automatically moving around the apartment, picking up trash as she went.

"You're a month behind in your rent," she continued on, dumping an armload of dirty rags in the large trash can near one of his easels. Or at least, she thought they were just dirty rags. "When was the last time you ate? God, what am I going to do with you.."
Isaac Mendez: Portrait of the artist//greyviridian_hue on October 24th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
"I don't care. It's not for sale," Isaac repeated, finally finding a battered button-down that smelled half-way decent and he pulled it on. "I lost track of...a lot of stuff, I guess. But if he really wanted the rent, the landlord would've hauled his ass up here to kick mine, so it can't be that late."
enabling on October 24th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
"That isn't the point," she said, turning back to him. "You weren't like this a month ago. I didn't have to hound you half as bad as I am now." I should have known something was up, she continued on inwardly, moving to pick up a broke brush beneath one of the tables he kept his supplies on.
Isaac Mendez: Presentable//seriousviridian_hue on October 24th, 2006 04:52 am (UTC)
"I wasn't producing worth shit a month ago," Isaac told her with a shrug, crossing his arms over his chest, expression turning surly. "You know that. So how many times are we gonna talk about it like it might change?"
enabling on October 24th, 2006 04:56 am (UTC)
"You were doing the comics. They were selling great. Are selling great," she amended, holding the broken pieces of the brush in her hand. Simone sighed, finally letting her shoulders drop a little.
Isaac Mendez: Portrait of the artist//greyviridian_hue on October 24th, 2006 05:03 am (UTC)
Slowly, Isaac shook his head, jaw setting in a firm line. "They're better now. So much better. And you know it. They're clearer," he insisted. "It's all better now. You can't tell me you don't see the difference." Those last words, they were almost questioning, as if asking for some kind of aknowledgement, trying to draw her back into his orbit. "The art is what matters, Simone. It's better now."
enabling on October 24th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
Simone moved her eyes up to him, looking him clearly in the eye. It was all in his body language, that silent plea. He was right. The paintings were clearer, more defined, frighteningly so. But he'd been right the first night. Even if they were hauntingly beautiful, the ends did not in any way justify the means. Not to her. No amount of art mattered that much.

"Baby, you need help," she said, her voice pained. "It'll only get worse. You almost killed yourself. I want to help you."
Isaac Mendez: Blues//down and outviridian_hue on October 24th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
His body language changed with those words, turning defensive again, turning inwards, buffering himself. "I don't need help, I need...Christ, Simone, I need a lot of things. I need you to just believe me. I can't stop, don't you understand? If these are...if this is the future, I can't stop. I have to keep painting. And this is the only way I can see it, I can get to it. And if this is what's going to happen..." He trailed off, tracing his bare toe across one of the lines of the painting on the floor. "I have to know. I have to see, carida. I can't just let it go."
enabling on October 24th, 2006 12:11 pm (UTC)
"Believe you. Like you wanted me to believe that you could just stop?" Simone replied, expression torn between concern and frustration, her hands moving to gesture around them. "Like you'd wanted me to believe you last time, with the wild claims? You lied to me. It's crazy, Isaac. Painting the future. It's the drugs. I'll admit, this- these-" she took a few steps closer, eyes moving to the paintings. "-They're so alive it's creepy, but that's all it is."
Isaac Mendez: My work and nothing moreviridian_hue on October 24th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
((Moving it here so the thread doesn't get squished.))

"It's not all there is!" Isaac insisted, his eyes wild, flashing as his head snapped up to look at her balefully. "It's not just the drugs. They let me do it, but it's not the smack, don't you think I'd know what that feels like, what it lets me do? Hell, I know better than anyone!"

He stalked over to the newer paintings, the ones spelling out his visions in sweat and tears and acrylics. "This," he said, picking up a canvas with a blonde girl on it, the same blonde girl he'd painted several times over, in more and more ominous scenes, dark and forboding, sickly greens and greys. He looked at it for a moment before slamming it back down into the pile forcefully. "This is different. And if you know me, know my work half as well as you should, you'd know it. You'd be able to tell. Aren't you paying attention?" The last was a little desperate, and he cleared his throat dryly, trying to keep his voice from breaking.
enabling on October 24th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
Simone jumped at the motion, her stomach twisting in knots. He was getting irrational, just like the first day. And while a small part of her whispered not to leave him in fear of something just as terrible as the overdose happening, another much louder part told her to leave.

"Maybe I don't know you at all," she said in a low voice, much more confident than she felt. She retrieved her suitcase from where she'd left it, turning back to the canvases he'd left her just near the door. Four. Barely enough to pay his bills. She'd be lucky to get him more supplies, and she was far too worried that he'd spend it on more drugs to just hand it over.
Isaac Mendez: Portrait of the artist//greyviridian_hue on October 25th, 2006 01:30 am (UTC)
Isaac laughed bitterly, the sound raspy and rough in his dry throat. "That's how it is? I tell you something you don't want to hear and you walk away from me?" he asked, watching her. "That's how we're doing this now? No arguments because nobody sticks around for them? Good plan."
enabling on October 25th, 2006 02:00 am (UTC)
"No," Simone said harshly, turning around and glaring him down. "If anyone has selective hearing, Isaac, it's you. And I can't take this shit right now. I can't." She turned away and gave a sad, hard little laugh herself. "You have no idea.. god, I would have thought that maybe, just maybe I could lean on you a little, but no. I don't matter that much. Nothing matters but this to you. I might as well be your mother, for all that I've had to pick up after you, make sure you eat, that your rent's been paid--"
Isaac Mendez: Presentable//seriousviridian_hue on October 25th, 2006 02:10 am (UTC)
Shrugging a little, Isaac pushed his hair away from his face. Whenever she pushed back, it made him falter, somehow. Pause, perhaps that was the word for it, whatever it was, that moment where he framed the scene and started to think about what was there instead of what was in his head.

"If you'd tell me that you needed me instead of coming in to mother me, to be my girl instead of my agent, maybe I'd know what to do, reina," he said slowly.
enabling on October 25th, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)
"How can I even expect that of you?!" she all but shouted, her voice cracking in her heightened emotional state. "You're babbling on about how you can paint the future, and I--"

Her voice broke, and Simone was quick to turn around, anything to force herself back into control. She would not lose her self-control in front of him, not now. She needed to be the one giving him instruction, putting him back on the right path. That was her job. "Try.. to imagine, what that's like. Switch it around and try to imagine how you sound, Isaac."
Isaac Mendez: Blues//down and outviridian_hue on October 25th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Making a soft, soothing sound, Isaac came up behind her to run his hands down her arms, proximity meaning comfort to him, and if he could do that, maybe she'd calm down, listen to him instead of dismiss him. And if she listened, she had to believe him. It was the truth, after all.

"Don't expect, just ask," he told her quietly. "You can do that, remember? You can ask because I don't always know what you need from me. Hell, I don't even know what I need. Don't do this, Simone. Don't...push so hard."
enabling on October 25th, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
It was the easiest thing to do, give into the simple pleasure of his body close to hers, the warmth in him, the sound of his voice. Her eyes closed automatically and she gave a little shiver, somewhere between a supressed sob and a reaction to his closeness.

"No," she said, shaking her head even with her eyes closed. Her resolve was already slipping, and she knew it. "I.."
Isaac Mendez: Portrait of the artist//greyviridian_hue on October 25th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
"It's okay," he murmured into her ear, sliding his hands down to wrap around her waist and pull her gently flush with him. "It's okay, Simone, baby, it's okay, we'll figure things out, we will." It was all soothing, soft words that had more to do with quieting her than their real meanings. This, he knew how to do. He could make things better if he could hold her. His hands always knew what to do, even before his brain did, or the rest of his body. He could trust his hands.
enabling on October 25th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
If she kept her eyes closed, she could pretend the paintings weren't even there. That he was still clean, and she was safe there with him. It'd felt so long since she'd allowed herself to let her walls down, let someone else comfort her or take care of her.

But can he? came the niggling voice in the back of her mind again. Always the kill-joy, over-thinking, over-analyzing. She turned her head so her left cheek brushed against his shoulder, body moving independent of her thoughts.
Isaac Mendez: Portrait of the artist//greyviridian_hue on October 25th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
Tenderly, Isaac murmured in Spanish, the words rolling like waves and he leaned down to press a kiss to the top of her head. She always smelled like what he thought the desert would smell like after it rained, earthy and clean with the hint of flowers, a promise of growth and life to come. Simone was life to him, somehow, something to make his desert bloom, make the wilderness sing with gladness. Old words, hymns or something, he couldn't remember, but they lingered there, along with her perfume. "Hoy te quiero más que ayer, pero menos que mañana," he said softly, kissing her head again, benediction and hope together.
enabling on October 25th, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
All the little worries were gone, even if it would be fleeting. It felt too good to be in his arms, too good when his lips moved like a whisper against her skin. Even his words felt like a caress, chasing away the anxiety, rich and deep and lingering. How could he see such horrifying, terrible things when beneath it he could still make her knees weak? It was too easy to turn her face up underneath his chin, easier still to kiss his throat. Simone could just faintly feel his pulse, the stubble of the last few days without shaving the only buffer.

"I love you so much," she whispered, each word deliberate and heartfelt. "So much it hurts."
Isaac Mendez: Blues//down and outviridian_hue on October 25th, 2006 03:18 am (UTC)
"Love always hurts. We suffer for it. All the good things in the world, we suffer terribly for them," he whispered back. Sometimes, it seemed like there was a chasm between them, between the worlds they lived in, how pristine she was, well-born and well-made and well-kept, and his own, buffered by the abattoir he saw every time he closed his eyes, that he spilled across the canvas. But when she kissed him, when he could hold her like this, that chasm was gone, forgotten. "You're worth suffering for," Isaac added after a moment.
enabling on October 25th, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
Her heart ached at the double-edged compliment, thoughts flickering back to their fight the day before, her ultimatum over the drugs or their relationship. Was this his way of letting go? Telling her he'd chosen her?

For that moment, she didn't care about the answer. Simone turned in his embrace, one arm sliding around his waist while the other moved over his chest, up his neck and into his hair. Kissing him sealed her thoughts away, pushed them into the back of her mind. All that mattered was that he wanted her, even if it only meant for now.