A Fictonal Account of the Best Present a French Prostitute has Ever Recieved.
Dec. 23, 1888 Arles, France
The sweat beads condensed on my forehead, another customer finished, another 50 Francs. The air was thick; the heavy cigarette smoke swirled upwards like ribbons. I could hardly see two feet in front of me. Jacques said something about “joier” and lit up another cigarette, reluctantly reaching into his pockets.
Jacques called himself a nouveaux philosopher; he wrote about what is wrong with the world, making all kinds of references to the troubles the ballet dancers and brothel matrons caused our country. I do not know his real name, but when the blood entered his groin he was Jacques, and all morals and inhibitions were suppressed.
Jacques left the room and I was alone, cold, broke. Sometimes I would have a job sitting for the painters down the street in the yellow house. Other times I would stand on the corner and see what new customers I could attract. I grew weary at times, either from overactivity or inactivity. Sex grew monotonous, but I knew when to make noise. I looked around the room; it was dingy, red paint cracking on the wall. The smoke was slowly beginning to clear. A noise.
Irregular footsteps creaked on the floorboards. A seemingly drunk, red haired man staggered into my chamber. “Rachel…” He gasped out. I recognized him immediately as one of the artists down the street. Vincent, I believe. He had painted me several times, never very accurately. I felt sorry for him, because he had never sold anything, and was living off his brother. The man had obviously had too much absinthe today.
Vincent didn’t talk, just stood there in the doorway, trembling, holding his head in his hands. I ran up to him and put my arm around him. “Its time to go home, now,” I said. I would never forget his face that day. His sad, green eyes looked at me like a baby looks at its mother.
Vincent’s next movements were jerky; awkward. His eyes became like that of a monster. He hobbled forward, the ground pulsating with each step. His eyes never left mine, but I could see his hands fluttering, grabbing my hand and forcing his dirty handkerchief onto my sweaty palms. Vincent smiled a toothy grin, but the sadness and madness of his face shone through like sunlight through a window. I was terrified of this man now, this man that grunted like a swine and staggered like a baboon. “Keep this object carefully,” he said to me, then quickly limped out of the room, dripping beads of blood on the furniture. The room was a dizzying cloud of smoke and sweat and blood. I looked down at Vincent’s “present.”
Upon regaining consciousness, I studied this object, a bloody chunk of flesh, reddish brown, partially caked onto the crimson handkerchief. I choked. It was the lower part of his ear. What am I going to do with this? I thought. What is wrong with this man? My hands were trembling and I dropped the ear onto my lap. I shrieked and longed for a never ending supply of Jacques.
Vincent Van Gogh was admitted to a mental institution that morning. He was in and out until his suicide on July 29th, 1889.