Surveillance

Max hired the cheapest gumshoe he could find. Danny Fleisch. I saw him first parked in the sun near the place I worked. He was so bloated and red I wanted to asked if he was ok, until he lifted his newspaper. On the bench out the front of my gym, next day, he pretended to tie his already-tied shoe.

Why had Max even bothered? Did he think I was cheating? Cheating on what? Our marriage had been only a legal encumbrance for many months, a legacy of past poor judgement. I was happy. If I’d wanted to leave I would have left. If I’d wanted a lover I would have told him. Why not? But that wasn’t even on my radar.

I watched from my studio window as Fleisch sifted my rubbish—nothing but old paint tubes and sticky, dog-eared brushes. He smeared Cadmium Yellow across his shirt.

I knocked on Lester’s studio door. ‘Are you up for some play acting?’ I explained about Fleisch.

‘No worries,’ he said.

We went to my studio window and kissed. Lester was convincing. Very convincing. Over his shoulder I watched Fleisch fumble with his camera. ‘Again,’ I whispered, a little too softly. ‘He’s bloody missed the shot.’

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