Paint Dries When You're Having Fun
Discreet White or Fancy Pink?
Rose compared the two paint samples the Sherwin-Williams employee had just handed her. Despite the name, Discreet White wasn't all that white. It was really more of a pink, although only slightly. Rose could barely tell the difference between the two.
"So, what do you think? You said you wanted something with a tinge of pink, but not overbearing. I think these two are pleasant, but muted."
Rose glanced at his name tag, it said, "McHugh". The colors that McHugh had brought were exactly what she was looking for, but she wasn't sure which one she preferred. She knew that she was well past the age where pink walls were appropriate, but she was starting to feel old. All she needed to do was to throw some plastic on her furniture and she'd could be someone's grandmother, she thought.
"Well, I like this hue better," she said and held up the Fancy Pink, "Then again, if I went with the Discreet White, I wouldn't have to put up with my friends and boyfriend mocking for having 'pink' walls." If I only had a boyfriend, she added to herself.
"Personally," McHugh said, "I wouldn't worry about what they think. Discreet White is pink enough that even if you told them it wasn't pink, they wouldn't believe you."
"Hmmm..." Rose held the two samples. She lifted the Discreet White imagined her room that color, then did the same with the Fancy Pink. There really wasn't much of a difference, and since she didn't really have many friends or a boyfriend, she said, "I'm leaning towards the Fancy Pink." Besides, she thought, the name is cuter. More ... youthful.
"Excellent choice. And, if it'll make the decision any easier, I can tell you I've already got some Fancy Pink mixed up so you don't have to wait."
"Oh, that sounds good! Let's go with that," Rose nodded. "Fancy Pink. I like it. It's different, and I really need some sort of change in my life."
Rose hummed as she set the paint buckets in the corner of her room and started moving things out. She wanted to get new furniture too, but on her salary she'd have to be happy with new walls.
She wrestled with her dresser, desk, bedside table, and bookshelf, getting them as far out into the living room as she could. There wasn't a bit of space left; drawers were stacked up on the couch, books piled high on the coffee table, even her bedside lamp sat cozily in the armchair. Her queen-sized bed alone remained in her bedroom.
Rose taped around the doors and window, Then lined the floor with old sheets and towels. She even taped the ceiling corners. She was nothing if not meticulous.
Opening one of the cans, Rose wrinkled her nose at the smell. She went and opened the lone window, then filled the rolling tray and started on the first wall. She went up and down in nice even strokes, making sure not to splatter. Half an hour later, the first wall was done.
She sat on her bed to appraise her work. The first section had mostly dried, but the bit she'd just finished glistened in the mid-morning daylight. Staring at the pleasant hue, she thought it's so cute.
Even with the window open, the smell of paint was overwhelming. Rose wanted to step out and take a break, but she was transfixed by the drying paint. It seemed to dance and twirl as it dried. She felt like she was being pulled into it. Fancy Pink enveloped her world. She found herself swimming naked in a pink sea. The water coated her aging body. It dried to her skin and she became one with the pink world. Care-free, she swam and played in the pink ocean. Rose was happy.
Her watch beeped; it was noon. Close to an hour had passed and a dull, warm pink had replaced the wet shine. Rose's sudden laughter echoed against the bare walls. She couldn't believe that she had actually sat and watched paint dry.
Rose readied her roller again and set upon the second wall, the one with her closet, opposite the window. Her strokes were a little bit faster, not quite as careful, but she still prevented any splatters. When she finished, she stepped back, admiring the finished corner of the room. Sunlight shone through the window causing the wet paint to sparkle. Rose could feel herself being pulled in, and once again she sat down and watched the paint slowly dry.
She floated in her pink world, everything so warm and gentle. She stretched a hand out and touched a passing pink bubble. It was as soft as she imagined. She cupped it in both hands and brought it to her chest. Warmth spread out through her body as the bubble melted into her skin, turning her pink. Rose smiled.
Some time later, Rose snapped to. She cursed herself. Once was forgivable, but she was wasn't going to get anywhere watching paint dry. Rose resolved not to even look at the next two walls until she was completely finished. Nevertheless, she felt a longing inside of her.
As she moved one of the buckets to paint the third wall, she glanced down at it. She needed to see it dry, but she wanted to resist. Rose was torn.
As her inner battle raged, Rose quickly rolled the paint on. Most of her earlier care was gone, and she splattered a few drops on herself and a few more drops landed in her short dark hair. She painted with determination, but she didn't know what for.
Finishing, Rose quickly trotted to the edge of her bed, sat down, and stared at the wall. She put her elbows on her knees and her chin on her paint-spotted hands and watched raptly as the paint dried. She dove into the pinkness, and it splashed all around her. She twirled and danced in the pink world, laughing the whole time.
She didn't know when, but at some point the pink sheen dried up. Rose giggled. Hastily, she drug the paint over to the last wall and attacked it. The roller flew up and down without care, Rose wanted to be sure she got to watch every last bit dry. If she hadn't covered it, she would have wound up with a Fancy Pink floor as well. Her clothes, on the other hand, wound up more pink than their original colors, but she didn't notice.
The late afternoon sun streamed in perfectly to illuminate the slowly drying paint. Rose stripped off her clothes and reached out to the Fancy Pink world that she had painted. From it, she grabbed a soft pink gown and put it on. The pinkness warmed her, it completed her. Rose watched every bit of paint dry, even the paint on her discarded clothes. As she watched, Rose laughed and smiled.
The next morning Rose awoke naked on her bed in the freshly painted room. Her head throbbed. Silently, she cursed herself for sleeping in the room with the paint fumes. Then again, she didn't remember going to sleep.
She inspected her clothing; they weren't even fit for rags. She threw them down in disgust. What had gotten into her yesterday? How could she lose control of herself like that? Rose balled her clothes up with the sheets that lined the floor and put them all in a garbage bag.
Rose desperately wanted to get dressed. She hated being nude, even when she was alone, it made her feel exposed and vulnerable. However, her clothes were in her dresser, which was in the living room, outside of her pink niche.
Rose opened her bedroom door and was greeted by a disaster. A herd of elephants had apparently stampeded through her living room during the night. At least, that was her best guess as she had organized everything when she moved it out. Still, she'd been moving a lot of stuff around.
Trying to find underwear in that mess was out. She'd just have to go without until she got everything straightened up. She did still needed to get dressed, though, so she turned to get something out of her closet. As she looked at the pink walls, her skin warmed, like she was wearing a terrycloth robe. She could feel it: so soft, warm, and pink. She knew it wasn't there, but it felt so real. Her desire for clothing dissipated. She had a robe on, after all. She didn't need clothes.
Rose walked out into her living room, still naked. Slowly but steadily, she made progress on the mess. She moved her bed back into its proper position and then dragged her desk in. After setting her computer back up, she moved the small bookshelf and put the books back. As she moved about, she realized that she wasn't, in fact, wearing a robe, but that she was naked. Along with that realization came another: that she liked being naked.
Despite moving over half of her stuff back into her room, the living room was still a mess. Most of it was from her dresser. Sometime in the night, it had vomited all of its contents, littering the room. Rose first moved the actual dresser back into her bedroom, put it in its proper place, and then set about putting the clothes back in their drawers.
Rose had put quite a lot of them back when if finally occurred to her that she hadn't come across a single pair of panties or a bra. Frantically, she searched through the remaining clothes. The only thing she found was a black lacy bra and a matching thong that had been a gag gift. Someone had come in and stolen her underwear! That's why her place was trashed. She felt violated and a little confused. What sort of sick pervert would break in, ignore her computer and TV, and just take her underwear?
She ran for the phone to call the police, then stopped. A faint memory came back of her fighting her way through the living room to the dresser and throwing out her "boring old crap". Rose's stomach lurched. Going into the kitchenette, Rose looked in the garbage. Sure enough, there were her undies, coated in left over Fancy Pink paint. They were ruined.
.... There is more of this story ...