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  • Her studio is a little room at the front of the house. It's nothing fancy, just a space away from everyone else where she can escape for a few minutes. A space that gets the afternoon sunlight, cluttered with boards and canvasses and oils mixed on the lids of ice-creams tubs. She wishes she could paint more, that she could lock herself in for a more than half an hour at a time but her mother is old and frail and needs almost constant care. Her husband could help, but he doesn’t. For the most part he ignores his mother-in-law, growing bitterer as the years creep past. He resents the money she costs him, but more than that he resents her for the hours of wife's time she demands every day. Hours spent dressing her, washing her, clipping her brittle yellow toenails. Hours of his retirement spent alone reading while she dresses, washes, clips. She understands this of course, how could she not, but she cannot bring herself to put her mother into a home.

    And so she tries to be the peacemaker, between a husband and a mother who are as stubborn and selfish as each other. But when she can't, she paints.
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