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#277: White

#277: White
Odd Spot - The Age - 03/01/2023

Josh crouches in the corner of Doug's office. He has earphones in and the music turned up. Josh is not interested in what is being said. He's here, shadowing Doug, drawing him.
He's careful to not let Doug see the drawings, but Josh is happy with how they are evolving. Each drawing of Doug is of him as a vulture. The creature is grotesque, dressed in the same white suit the real Doug has on. Huge, outstretched wings somehow hold a pen, or type at the keyboard, or stretch out for a handshake.
The sketches are quick torrid affairs. It'll be a series of small(ish) paintings, commissioned by a group of Doug's friends for his fiftieth birthday.
Josh figures they knew what they were getting when they hired him. They knew this was never going to be some sniffled portrait of Doug posing for the artist.
For twenty years, Doug has been making a living off other people's talent. And the greatest beneficiary of his ability to scavenge the art world for money and fame has been Josh.
For the first time, Josh notices the white hair band. It is this tiny detail that trains Josh's eye to what vulnerabilities Doug has. Of course, the white suit, tanned skin, manicured stubble, convertible Porsche all gave the narcissistic game away, but not quite like the white hair band. Doug was careful to keep his bald spot covered, and the hair tie blended in.