There’s some Monet at the bus stop.
Really, how much?
Monet, you know, the painter.
Oh right. The early 20th century French impressionist painter?
That’s the one.
What’s he doing there?
Well not him, exactly, but someone’s left a load of his paintings there.
Do you think they’re stolen?
Well I don’t think they’re the originals.
No, probably not.
They’re all framed and everything, but just those cheap black plastic ones.
You should have brought them home.
I figured someone had forgotten them and would come back for them.
Maybe they were moving house?
What, by bus?
Some people must have to, if you’ve not got a car
There might be a reward for them?
Doubt it, it’s just pictures innit?
Well, maybe you should pop back and check.
Why do you like Monet?
He’s alright, but it’s all lilies and shit.
Mainly, yeah. Very popular though.
Not anymore if someone’s dumped them.
Maybe they were waiting for the bus.
The paintings themselves? Don’t be daft.
You never know.
I still reckon you should have picked them up. Someone else will have them now. Someone who doesn’t appreciate art.
You just said you didn’t like Monet.
I didn’t say that. It’s just all a bit wishy washy isn’t it? Bit samey after a while. I like my art a bit more abstract, a bit more muscular.
What, like me my dear?
Yeah, just like you, very abstract.
Well, he’s very popular.
Not anymore clearly, if they’re now hanging around the bus stop.
You know, every doctor’s waiting room, every funeral parlour or council registry office, every fake living room layout at a furniture store, every young couple’s first living together décor. Monet is ubiquitous, he’s the safe option. he represents all that’s easy and bland and ‘nice’.
Oh god, I hate nice. Art isn’t meant to be nice.
Don’t try to shush me, you’re the one that’s ranting on about it.
I said quite, not quiet.
Perhaps that’s why someone has thrown them out. It’s an act of cultural terrorism, taking a stand against the boring and the banal, against the oppression of ‘nice’, making a stand for the ugly and the abstract, the difficult and the divisive. There’s nothing divisive about Monet, everyone likes Monet.
I didn’t realise quite how much until now.
So what did other people do at the bus stop, with all those paintings there?
They were ignoring them, typical London. A kid was bouncing their ball against them but no one else seemed to notice or chose not to.
What? Someone let a child throw a ball at a work of art? That’s outrageous. Kids are little hooligans today, though the parents are no better to let them do something like that. Why didn’t you stop them?
I don’t know. Didn’t want to interfere I suppose.
Oh well we can’t have that. We should go and rescue them.
Yes, against the heathens and philistines, people who don’t appreciate good art.
But I thought you said you didn’t like Monet.
Well I wouldn’t want to put them up obviously, but you never know, they might be worth a few quid, I’m sure someone will want them. Besides, we’ve got a bit of empty wall space in the downstairs toilet. We could put some Monet in there. You know, something soft and relaxing.
Yes, that would look nice.
JP Seabright is a queer writer living in London. Their work can be found in Babel Tower Notice Board, Fugitives & Futurists, Full House, Untitled Voices and elsewhere. Occasionally they can be found hanging out on Twitter @errormessage and blogging about music: https://randomrecordreview.wordpress.com