This painting has an important role in my novella, “A Portrait of Happiness and Love.” Previous to this excerpt, Sandee has bumped into Patrick outside the drawing studio. Sandee is returning his book on Velazquez, confused as to whether or not Patrick had romantic intent in lending it to her. Patrick asks her out to dinner.
“It’s settled then!” He beamed at me. “Oh, here, I’ll write down my address.” He begged a pencil off one of the students, tore a corner from a piece of scrap paper on the floor, scribbled a street name and number, and inserted it as bookmark into Velazquez. Handing it to me, he said, “Seven o’clock. I look forward to it.”
I watched him leave, and then opened the book to the marked page. Las Meninas… Later, in my office, as the familiar whir of the copy machine allowed normalcy to calm my nerves, I considered the significance of his page choice. The man caught in indecision in the doorway at the rear had decidedly left. He was that man. But (and this question caused me to lose track of the number of copies so I had to start counting again) was I the princess in the room, or was I perhaps someone else, someone behind the scenes, to whom the man had decided to turn? I both feared and longed for the dinner we would share that night.
Find out more about my book here.