All day he’d been working like a locomotive, I mean he was painting, the brush strokes coming like clockwork. Then he called home. And that was that. That was all she wrote. He shook like a leaf. He started smoking again. He lay down and got back up. Who could sleep if your woman sneered and said time was running out? He drove into town. But he didn’t go drinking. No, he went walking. He walked past a mill called “the mill.” Smell of fresh cut lumber, lights everywhere, men driving jitneys and forklifts, driving themselves. Lumber piled to the top of the warehouse, the whine and the groan of machinery. Easy enough to recollect, he thought. He went on, rain falling now, a soft rain that wants to do its level best not to interfere with anything and in return asks only that it not be forgotten. The painter turned up his collar and said to himself he wouldn’t forget. He came to a lighted building where, inside a room, men played cards at a big table. A man wearing a cap stood at the window and looked out through the rain as he smoked a pipe. That was an image he didn’t want to forget either, but then with his next thought he shrugged. What was the point? He walked on until he reached the jetty with its rotten pilings. Rain fell harder now. It hissed as it struck the water. Lightning came and went. Lightning broke across the sky like memory, like revelation. Just when he was at the point of despair, a fish came up out of the dark water under the jetty and then fell back and then rose again in a flash to stand on its tail and shake itself! The painter could hardly credit his eyes, or his ears! He did just had a sign-– faith didn’t enter into it. The painter’s mouth flew open. By the time he reached home he quit smoking and vowed never to talk on the telephone again. He put on his smock and picked up his brush. He was ready to begin again, but he didn’t know if one canvas could hold it all. Never mind. He’d carry it over onto another canvas if he had to. It was all or nothing. Lightning, water, fish, cigarettes, cards, machinery, the human heart, that old port. Even the woman’s lips against the receiver, even that. The curl of her lip.