By Jerry Zezima
Picasso had his Blue Period. And now, I’ve had mine.
The difference between us — aside from the important fact that he had talent but is currently deceased — is that Picasso didn’t paint his bathroom. I painted mine. Or at least I painted part of it.
And I chose the color: serenata blue. It’s AT-535 in the paint sample kit, which contains so many shades of so many colors that the kit could rival “Fifty Shades of Grey” for sheer thickness, though it’s not as painful to read.
This was the first time in a decade that I’ve had a brush with disaster. In the first 10 years of the quarter-century that my wife, Sue, and I have owned our house, I had 20 painting projects.
The biggest ones, with and without help, were in three bathrooms, three bedrooms, the dining room, the family room, the very large living room (twice) and, worst of all, the hallway.
The problem with the hallway was that I didn’t know where to stop. That’s because it leads upstairs and connects to the hallway up there. So I ended up painting half the house.
The day after I finished, Sue said, “I don’t like the color.”
And she picked it out!
After that, I retired from painting.
“You’re not retired,” Sue told me. “You’re just on hiatus.”
She was right because a little over 10 years ago, I came out of retirement, drove to my daughter and son-in-law’s house and helped paint the bedroom of my soon-to-be-born first grandchild. It came out great. Even Sue thought so.
It eased the haunting flashbacks to my worst painting project: the kitchen of the condo where Sue and I lived before we moved into our house.
I was on a stepladder when I pulled one of two chains on the ceiling fan to turn on the light. A minute later, I smelled something burning. It was my hair, which had come in contact with a hot bulb.
I inadvertently pulled the other chain to turn off the light and the fan blades started whirling. They conked me on the head and propelled me forward. Paint splashed onto the wall. It came out pretty nice.
Still, Sue is a better painter than I am. And she usually picks better colors. But this time, for our bathroom, which was being remodeled, I chose a beautiful shade of blue, a cross between baby, pastel and robin’s egg, with a touch of sky thrown in.
“That’s the one!” Sue exclaimed.
Our terrific contractor, Anthony Amini, whom we hired for the remodeling, agreed.
So did Anthony’s assistant, the talented and versatile Carlos Garcia, who kindly let me help him paint.
“I picked out the color,” I bragged.
“It’s very nice,” Carlos said. “I like it.”
After he shook the can of paint and poured some into a container, he handed me a brush and said, “Let’s see how you do.”
I started in the corner and went from top to bottom, using the bristles to smooth out the paint without making Carlos bristle.
“Good job,” he told me. “But watch out on top. Don’t get any paint on the ceiling.”
I stretched up and, in approximately the length of time it would take a tortoise to run the 100-yard dash, carefully ran the brush across the top of the wall. Not a drop got on the ceiling.
“Do you want to use a roller on the rest of the wall?” Carlos asked.
“Sure,” I said. “I’ll be on a roll.”
And I was, rocking the roller before handing it to Carlos to finish up.
“How bad a job did Jerry do?” Anthony asked. “Did he mess up? Do we have to paint all over again?”
“No,” said Carlos. “He did great.”
Sue stepped in and surveyed the paint job.
“The color is perfect!” she said approvingly.
“My Blue Period is over,” I announced. “Picasso couldn’t have done better.”
Copyright 2023 by Jerry Zezima