The Yellow Jacket

Vincent van Gogh. Portrait of Armand Roulin, 1888. 65x54cm. Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

Once the fellow started painting, he didn't talk, and hardly took a breath. He just squinted. Armand felt as though there were pins in the painter's eyes pricking the pores in his newly shaven face, a sensation that crept into his scalp, making him feel alive and part of something important and private. He couldn't explain it, and he would never tell anyone. The way the man studied every part of him, he didn't know how to describe it--tender and urgent maybe. He'd never been looked at that way before, except maybe by his mother.