I’ll never forget that day in the art gallery when we gazed at a piece of fabric hung on the wall. I didn’t think much of it, at first. It was just a bit of fabric. Plain, white, and unimaginative. The only thing that stood out about it were a bunch of incisions made by the artist, forming a row of precise vertical lines.
‘Bloody modern art!’ I ranted. ‘Honestly, even I can do better than that. These so-called “visionaries” get paid hundreds just to— Babe?’
You had begun to weep. I had to take you to the gallery’s overpriced café to get you some water. As you clutched the inside of your jacket’s sleeves, using them to wipe your eyes, all I could do was ask you what was wrong. You wouldn’t tell me. You wouldn’t even let me touch you. You just wept and wept and I didn’t know what to do. So, I took you home. I kept wondering what it was you had seen in that underwhelming, aged piece of fabric that moved you so deeply.
Once we got home, you’d managed to calm down. You sat at the kitchen table and traced the dents and scars in the wood. After dinner, you said one thing to me and one thing only as you rolled up your sleeves: ‘If all you could see was lines, then perhaps it’s time I showed you.’
Matt Gregory was born Kent, lives in Kent and will probably die in Kent. He has an MA creative writing, spends a lot time talking to himself and writes a lot of stories about animals. He's just finished his first novel and intends to be published. One day.