Before drinking Prosecco and eating pomegranate seeds and before hugging Sabina goodbye to see her hopefully soon at her new home in Vermont and before warming my feet by logs burning in the ground, I bought a paintbrush. Mine was splintered from too little care - both in its construction and in my leaving it soaking in water when its bristles were coated in paint. The last time I held it in my hand, I pulled blue and silver wood from my fingers.
I bought a paintbrush from a man wearing glasses and a name tag. He described the differences between the synthetics, the naturals, the flat tip, the filbert, the fan, the $100 versus the $10. I bought a paintbrush with a long, curved pale wooden handle because it felt like a wand in my hand.
I left the store, holding a black leather glove in one hand and my phone in the other - my ears plugged with sound matching that coming from my mouth. I crossed the street and looked down at my phone and the bare skin beneath it and the glove in my other hand, and I looked on the sidewalk and on the art store's floors and on its shelves. The matching glove was gone.
When I got home, I placed the new brush in a glass jar and the splintered one in the trash, and I placed the single glove on a shelf in my closet - just in case.