The Blank Canvas
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Michelangelo (1475 - 1564)
Michelangelo nips out of the Vatican for a break. He goes into Bar Delle Grazie in the street of the same name.
M: Morning, Davide.
D: Morning, "Divino".
M: Come on, I told you that was over the top. Call me Miche.
D: OK, Miche. Fancy a grappa?
M: No thanks, just a double espresso. You know I don't drink.
D: To be honest, I find that quite weird. With all the stress.
M: It just makes it worse. Particularly when you're up a ladder.
D: Indeed. What are you doing over there?
M: Working on a big mural. All the usual suspects: Jesus, saints, souls heading for heaven or hell.
D: Are you enjoying it?
M: Mostly. I like the painting, but not the politics. Pope Paul is always on my case. Wants it done yesterday.
D: Tough.
M: Yes, but not as bad as the last job.
D: I remember that. You were in a right state.
M: Up that scaffolding, which wasn't good with my vertigo. On my back all day for four long years. All those fiddly bits, like the touching fingers.
Davide attends to another customer, a priest in a red cassock and biretta.
D: So, Miche, anything else?
M: I'm getting a bit of pushback on what I do.
D: How's that?
M: The powers-that-be don't like the ... rude bits. Want to cover them up. They're using words like depraved.
D: That's nonsense.
M: Too right. It's not just here in Rome. The Fiorentini are beginning to complain about your namesake in Piazza della Signoria.
D: But he's beautiful.
M: I agree.
D: I wish I looked like him.
M: I don't get it. What's wrong with a bit of boy's wedding tackle? Half the population have it.

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