Smiling. Endlessly smiling. Bald and four-eyed, incessantly smiling. Smiling down at his empty canvas as he draws with an empty marker. The canvas is as unchanged as the expression on his face. Phantom drawings float in front of him, mocking his impotence. A puzzled pug drifts in, vanishes. The head of a raven, mouth mirthfully open, an uncanny depiction that he will not make. He draws nevermore, and yet evermore. The ghost of the sun shining through a cloud on the backs of birds, drawn by some hackneyed vacation goer who fancied himself an artist taunts the smiling schmuck who insists he’s an artist but cannot create anything to show for it. His wife and kids come in, not even as a photograph, but as the poltergeist of some child’s rendition. Smiling upon smiling, waving at the canvas as if it had any sign of life on it. Pictorial phantasmagoria prances in front of him as indefatigable as his stupid smile. A picture of a keyhole and key, but no door. A picture of alcohol. A picture of pending police brutality. Another picture of a puppy. ANOTHER PICTURE OF A PUPPY. We zoom out slowly and get a sense of our smiling sap’s surroundings. Behind thick black iron bars he smiles and smiles. Outside his home of barred windows and perpetual smiles lies the artistic inspiration for the ghost artist. Here a puppy, there a sun and a cloud. Over yonder a wife and kids. Close by, another puppy. ANOTHER PUPPY.