The Tragedy of Beauty

Little Eduardo loved to make sand castles in low tides. He loved the way the water would wash away his work later in the day. Even at the age of six, Eduardo understood true beauty had to be tragic.

When Eduardo became, ‘The Artist Eduardo,’ his people, friends, agents, family, countrymen and women would beg him to give up his artistically suicidal sand castle medium and pick up a damn paint brush and some paint and make something that can withstand the tides.

“Look, we all love the sand castles, but, the reason you’re making thousands instead of millions is because no one is going to pay a million dollars for a sand castle they know is due to be washed out to sea along with the four o’clock tide. It’s amazing people are paying what they’re paying, and you’ve got both of us to thank for that, Eduardo. So, here, I brought you some paints, brushes, easel and canvas. Why don’t you set it up and see what comes out? I’m betting a masterpiece on your first go. Come on, prove me right.”

“I just want to make castles.”

“Great, make castles in acrylic, or oils, I brought oils. Whatever you want, I can get it for you.”

“Can you bring a beach to my apartment?”

“Hey, I’ve brought you paint and canvas, you can bring a beach, or whatever you want right here, just pick up a brush and make it happen. Come on, humor me.”

Eduardo knew he did owe Nick, his manager a lot. He knew getting $10,000 per castle was ridiculous and all due to his skill with the sand, and Nick’s with the sale. So, against his desire, (and since making $10,000 a castle, Eduardo almost never did anything against his desire,) Eduardo stood and set the canvas up on its easel. He wet the brush in the brown oil paint, then splashed the brush against the white canvass. He repeated this action of wetting the brush into the oil paint, then splashing the brush against the white canvas five times before he dropped the brush on the palette, declaring: “I hate this. Take me to the beach.”

Nick could see he wasn’t going to win today. “Alright, got your shovel?” Eduardo proudly displayed his little red plastic shovel. “Vamos!”

That day, Eduardo had been commisioned by the Mayor’s Office to make a sand replica of the city skyline. It was the five hundred anniversary of the city, and this castle was the most highly anticipated sand castle of the year. The beach attracted a strong holiday buzz, as thousands of tourists came out to the beach to watch the master at work, build his sand castles.

Eduardo was halfway through shaping the city skyline, when he started building a condo he imagined to be the same he had shared with the woman who had left him with a note. The thought of how he had fallen to the floor in a snivelling heap of sorrow, and how the waves would be here in a couple hours to wash it all away again, all too much to bear, and Eduardo broke down sobbing.

The image of Eduardo weeping over his castles was on one side of the next day’s front page, next to a photo of the sand town destroyed by the rising tide.


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