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I had been to Jerome’s apartment before. Montreal had become a favorite weekend destination after long work weeks on the East Coast. It was November—cold, snowing. We were drinking red wine to keep warm.

“I’ve never seen this painting before,” I said, captivated by the image hanging on Jerome’s wall, continually staring as the red wine continued to flow.

I was not an art collector—I could not afford to be an art collector—but there was something about that painting on the wall that fixated me. Suddenly I was an art collector—regardless of how much red wine I had drunk.

Weeks, then months, passed as I puzzled over how to transport the painting from Montreal to San Diego without spending a minor fortune. I finally took matters into my own hands. After a seven-hour drive from Montreal to New York City, a six-hour flight from New York City to Los Angeles, and—because the painting wouldn’t fit on the last leg of my plane ride—a three-hour drive from Los Angeles to San Diego, my very first piece of art was leaning against my living room wall in San Diego.

The painting hung on my wall for months. Each day some new nuance or detail captured my attention and sent my mind wandering uncontrollably. There was something about The Dentist’s eyes, something about The Toothfairy’s smile, something about their embrace that made me wonder…How did they get there? Who were they? What was their story?

I wrote a story. A story about love and obsession, topics familiar to my life and to my heart. Topics discussed in many circles with many friends over many years. Topics that always seem to capture an audience and evoke opinions.

It was a phone call or an e-mail, I can’t remember which, but finally I told Jerome about the story I had written.

Dorota Skrzypek
San Diego, 2005

Dorota is obsessed with writing about love . Passion for, sacrifice for, and killing for. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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