THE TRIM PAINTER • by Kay Rae Chomic

“My husband says you’re the best trim painter in Griffin Construction. Steady hands, smooth strokes, no taping necessary.”

“That’s right, Mrs. Griffin,” Gina said.

The two women, with a generation between them, stood at the same height, 5′ 9″, had the same hazel eyes, and then the differences: skin tone, hairstyle, fingernail length.

“Call me Rita. Let’s do a house tour. Please take off your shoes.”

Gina, dressed in splotch-free painter jeans and a white t-shirt, toe-heeled off her tennis shoes.

“Dale had three painters come out to spray the ceilings bright white, and I chose yellow, lime, violet, teal for wall colors. To be a little playful, you know.”

“I heard. The guys were a little nervous to paint the boss’s house.”

“Understandable. For the trim, I want two shades brighter. And sharp edges, no spill overs. He said you could make it look perfect.”

“Sharp edges and bright colors will make you happy?”

“Happier, anyway.”


Perfection achieved after a week of paradise for a trim painter: a mansion with high ceilings, top-of-the-line angled brushes, lunch at poolside, a cold beer at the end of each day. The last day, they chatted longer than usual.

“Your sharp concentration keeps your hands steady,” Rita said.

“Yes. I used to juggle knives.”


Gina nodded.

“There must be other things you could do with those steady hands.”

“Defuse a bomb,” Gina said.

“Perform surgery.”

“Needle a tattoo.” Gina showed the dolphins on her calf.

“Be a makeup artist.”

Eye roll from Gina.

“I bet you’re a patient and detailed lover.”

Another nod. “My lovers are women. That’s probably something you know nothing about.”

“That’s true. But I think about it all the time.”

Kay Rae Chomic is a novelist (A Tight Grip), and writer of flash. She has been published in Storgy Magazine, Crack the Spine, Five:2:One’s The Side Show, 50-Word Stories, Writer Advice, Two Sisters Writing, Hysteria 6, The First Line. She was long listed for Flash 500, a LISP short story semi-finalist, and will soon be published by The Dribble Drabble Review. Kay lives in Seattle, has a passion for ping pong, and is a Motown fan forever.

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