It was the face that drove Christian mad.
He sat at his desk every day, plugging away at the boss’s mistakes, correcting minor errors in accounting, grammar, overall business strategy…and every day, he looked up from his computer to see the face winking at him.
No one could tell him where the boss acquired the painting. It was a grotesque representation of the human ideal: one eye was open, dark lines of fatigue under it; the other eye winked, as if the face were sharing a secret joke or suggesting a forbidden rendez-vous. It had full lips and pronounced lines under its nose. The face was a close-up, no forehead or chin visible.
It was, in effect, unnerving, and every day Christian had to work under its suggestion.
It was unsurprising, then, when, without warning, Christian stood, ripped the framed artwork off the wall, smashed it on the ground, stomped on it three times, then walked out, never to be seen in the office again.
His boss replaced the print with another, and put a request in to hire yet another new assistant.