No.181. Alchemy. It was the largest painting he'd made in the three weeks since his cornea transplant recovery, and he was pleased at the runaway energy it seemed to possess. He liked the tempest that swirled around the brimming reagent and seemed to encourage the volatile, chemically transformative stuff he had imagined to be inside it. His visitor, a rather stolid and diffident painter named Lucy Cobb, hated the picture. "It's too patriarchal," she told him, turning contemptuously away from the rampant picture. " Too testicular." He couldn't think of an adequate rejoinder.

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