The reception in Chelsea was the usual, tired cacophony of: mindless chatter, cynical commentary, tall stories, nonsense theories, misdirected compliments, and a minute sprinkling of intelligent truth. Arlene Diaz, a piano player by profession, was also a capable negotiator for Julio Zambrano's artwork; Arlene being Julio's partner and wife. Arlene and Julio sold three paintings and had two more potential sales still in the works at the end of the art show which included two other artists. During the art show there was the bloated underbelly of decadent overtures, filled with promiscuous fantasy woven in: the conversation, sips of moderately adequate wine, and barely functional hors d'oeuvres. The dinner later, at a northern Italian restaurant on Eighth Avenue, was several steps up from the gallery's tidbits and refreshments. However, it was, in terms of interaction with lustful characters, many levels down, and the grime was visible and overt.
Arlene Diaz's discussions and negotiations regarding Julio's artwork continued at the restaurant, Zina's Café, while her husband was bombarded with a multitude of fans, followers, and some unfriendly agitators. Arlene fell into the scope of one Miguel Aviles, a singer with a band, The Vargas Sound, a band that worked regularly on the lower eastside of Manhattan. Miguel, a handsome fellow of medium height with a good voice, and a great deal of charm continued to converse with Arlene. Miguel, had, began conversing with Arlene at the gallery and continued in the restaurant. Arlene was too busy for it to be continuous, but whenever possible, he chatted and chattered away, until he finally revealed that he knew of her from Oscar Reno, Julio's friend. Now he finally had Arlene's full attention. "So then you know from Oscar, that Julio and I are happily married."
"Happy? Marriage? Those two words don't even fit together." Miguel.
"Oh really. That statement says a lot." Arlene
"Yes it does, doesn't it?" Miguel.
"Yes, about you. Obviously you are, or were married?" Arlene.
"Sure, sure, I still am, I won't lie. But people can still have a laugh, a drink or a good conversation, or maybe even a little fun, with another person." Miguel.
"Yes of course. It was nice meeting and conversing with you, Miguel," Arlene states with a smile after which she walks away.
* * *
In a one-story, brick faced house, in Richmond Hill, Queens, Julio and Arlene, discuss some of the particulars from the show. The main topic being the profit and potential sales from it, however Arlene does interject her thoughts on the strangeness of Oscar Reno's friend Miguel Aviles. She commenting, "It was as if your friend Oscar told Miguel that I was a woman of low self-esteem available for some foolishness."
"Really? Well Oscar told me about this guy Miguel. He, Miguel, thinks he's the answer to every woman's fantasy regarding a male. I've heard him sing; he's got a nice voice." Julio.
"Yeah, but he also has some loose screws in his head. Maybe a whole section fell out and got lost, him and, your friend, Oscar." Arlene.
To be continued. . .