Kassandra, the barista, art student, and gentle friend to everyone on Pine Street: Let’s peek in on how she began the new year.
In Marilyn’s house, or rather, in her studio.
Douglas reopened the garage studio Marilyn had used to paint some of her larger pieces, and gave a key on a bright pink glittery key fob to Kassandra.
“Use it whenever you’d like,” he said. “It’s heated, and there’s a utility sink with running water. No bathroom, but you can come in the house for that.” Douglas smiled through a glimmer of the tears that came so often to him now. “Marilyn would adore the idea that this studio is being used by someone she loved.”
Kassandra wept a bit, too, thinking of her mentor, and Douglas’s kindness. Her response was to take the key and give Douglas a warm hug.
One thing nagged at the edge of her gratitude. Douglas seemed to anticipate it.
“David’s out of town for a while,” he said. “It will be nice for me and Precious, too, to know there’s another person around.”
Early on a Tuesday morning, her first day off from the coffee shop since receiving the key to the studio, Kassandra opened the garage door to take stock of the space.
The early morning light filtered through two large windows on the north, bathing the space in a soft grey glow. A few pieces stood on easels, covered in yellowed sheets. Kassandra resisted the temptation to look at Marilyn’s work, not wanting to invade the privacy of an artist who had not herself deemed something ready for public view.
Douglas had moved two empty easels to the center of the space, and leaned blank canvases against a wall. Kassandra smiled at his thoughtfulness, and at his assumption that she would paint using the same materials Marilyn did.
Kassandra was just starting her artistic journey, and had much left to learn. But she already had confidence in her own vision, and her vision was far too complex for a two-dimensional medium. She carefully moved the easels and canvases out of the way, and checked the electrical panel.
Yes, it looked good.
She pulled her welding mask out of her backpack, and opened the rolling tool box she’d drug from her place.
She hoped the sound of the welder wouldn’t wake up dear Precious.