Ralphie stood in front of the canvas, poised with the paintbrush, looking ridiculous. “That’s not how you fucking do it,” John shouted over from the couch. “Well, how do you do it then, you show me,” Ralphie answered. But he went on and dabbed a little white shine to the top of the guy’s bald head in the picture.

“Give me that,” John said, grabbing the brush out of his hand. He instantly rinsed the white off in the cup of turpentine. Then he tapped it into the cadmium red deep. “First of all, you hold your weapon like this,” he demonstrated the proper angle of holding the brush. Ralphie cracked up. “You look so fucking gay,” he said.

“I’m painting a painting, how am I supposed to look?” John said. This enraged the Ralphie and he went to grab the brush but John dabbed paint on his face when he got too close. “You asshole,” Ralphie said.

“Just finish the fucking painting,” Helga shouted from across the room. She sat on another one of the leather couches, legs crossed, reading an art magazine. John went to add some red but when the brush got near the canvas Ralphie hit his arm and the red went all over the guy in the picture’s face.

“Looks better that way,” John said, and went on adding red, making it look like the guy had blood spraying out of his eyes and nose and mouth. He added blood to the guy’s arms, legs, and all over the floor. It looked like the guy was being shot by a firing squad with machine guns. “Okay, done,” he said and Helga came over. She stood and regarded the gory bloodfest.

“Yeah,” she said. “I can sell that.”

The three of them went on to become millionaires and it turned out that Ralphie, not John, was gay. John actually ended up marrying Helga as a result of a passionate lovemaking session in his studio. It began when she criticized one of his brushstrokes and ended with them both covered in paint rolling around on the floor. Ralphie actually had a similar experience with one of his gay friends but they didn’t end up getting married. In the end all three were happy and why wouldn’t they be- they were rich.

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