Del turns on the light. Not sure what I expected but not this. The walls are covered with sketches. Paintings.
I look at him. “Yours?”
He nods. Looking shy and maybe a bit embarrassed.
I walk slowly around the room. Stopping to study them. One by one. The paintings are okay. Too modern for my taste. But the sketches. He’s amazing. Most are portraits. Street people. Hookers. One or two I think are pimps. A couple of them, I recognize the faces.
Done. Turning to him. He’s fearful, nervous.
“The sketches are fantastic, Del. Damn. Why are you hiding them away here? They should be in one of the shops in the Quarter, or an art gallery.”
He wrinkles his nose. Shakes his head. Then smiles in relief. “You really think they’re good?”
I look around at them again. Nodding slowly. “Yes. I think you’re very talented. Why haven’t you done something with them?”
“I’m scared. What if no one really liked them? I mean, well, you’re my friend. You have to be nice about it. But…” He takes a deep breath. Frowns. “The sketches. You don’t like the paintings?”
I wince. But I have to be honest with him. “It’s not that I don’t like them but they aren’t my style. I think maybe because I like pictures that look real. Do you get what I’m saying?”
“Yes.” He’s still frowning. “So you think they…they're not that good.”
“No Del. I think they’re fine. Really. Just not my thing. But you should show them to someone who knows about art.”