Haste

Still Life with Straw Hat, 1885
(Oil on canvas, 36 × 53.5 cm)
BY Vincent Van Gogh
Kröller-Müller Museum
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE YORCK PROJECT:
10.000 MEISTERWERKE DER MALEREI

“Is Don busy?” His feelings sound hurt because he knows in advance. He’s a worrywart customer nobody likes. He begs us to fix things that can’t be repaired.

His hair’s growing back. He’s putting on weight, and he still wears the straw hat. It’s broad-brimmed and flat, like a riverboat gambler’s, and his shirts are for summertime, palm fronds and swordfish twelve months a year. His knees look like cauliflower whittled from soap.

“Just tweak it,” he says. “Can you call him?” But the pace is preset and cannot be changed. And his business is failing. He is thrashing headlong in a storm of delay.

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