Michael hadn’t much enjoyed his brief encounter with Homer Rubik at The Lucy Crater Gallery.  His strange subway-dweller friend—or, more accurately acquaintance—Bliss Carmen, had introduced them.  And if the meeting stuck in his memory at all—and it did, like a fishbone lodged in his throat—it was because of Rubik’s apparent and highly unlikely admiration for, and slick emulation of, the art of the high renaissance. 
     Michael found it grotesque to imagine some bridge of sensibility stretching from Raphael, Leonardo, Uccello, Piero della Francesco and the other household gods of the quattrocento to the surly, roughhewn Homer Rubik.  Somebody, thought Michael—a father, a mother, a custodian?—had once given their baby the noble name of Homer, thus heading him, early and exuberantly, out onto the road to great things, a road Michael felt it was unlikely Homer could have followed for very long.
      Still Bliss had assured him Homer could draw and paint like an angel.  Even a fallen angel.  He’d like to see for himself.
     So one day when he didn’t feel either like the writing he was supposed to do or the painting he usually enjoyed doing, Michael wandered into the Spadina Subway station around eleven on a frosty Tuesday morning in search of Bliss.
     He spotted Fish first.  He was tied—too tightly, thought Michael—to a pillar.
     “Hello Fish,” he called out, with a cheerfulness he didn’t feel, “where’s your mistress?”
     Fish looked away and them cocked his leg against the pillar and peed.
     “Fish the Wonder Dog,” thought Michael.
     “Well if it’s not the Big Writer!” he heard a voice say, “Zorba the Greek!”
     “Zorba wasn’t a writer,” Michael told her.
     “But he was Greek, right?  Close enough!”
     Michael wanted to ask her straightaway about Homer Rubik, but, given Bliss’s never-ending heartiness and stridency, he had little choice but to ease into it.
     “What are you doing this morning?” he asked her.
     “Getting my bearings,” she told him.
     “Coffee.  Walking Fish.  Reading the paper.”
     “Did you enjoy my friend Rubel Force’s opening last week?
      “Not much,” said Bliss. “Friggin Paintings of friggin cellophane?  What the hell for?”
     “How about your pal Homer?  What did he think?”
     “Homer hated the whole evening.  But then Homer hates a lot of things.”
     Michael thought about this briefly and decided it was probably true.  But where did this angelic drawing skill of Rubik’s come from? 
     “I wouldn’t mind seeing some more of Homer’s stuff,” Michael told her. 
     “Why?’ Bliss asked.
     “Just curious,” he replied.  “He seems to be a remarkable artist.”   Michael didn’t want dilate, just at the moment, upon the ways in which Homer seemed remarkable .
     “Well, he’s just going to work around now,” she said, glancing at the subway station clock.  “We  could go and get something to eat where he’s the cook.”
     The idea of eating anything at the diner where Homer was the cook was an unappealing one, but Michael agreed they should go there.  He wanted to observe Mr. Renaissance Master in his everyday habitat.
     “You can buy me one of Homer’s all-day breakfasts,” Bliss said cheerfully.  “And you can buy Fish a Crispy Crunch bar!”
     Michael decided this wasn’t too high a price to pay for a start of a tour around Homer Rubik.
     “I still don’t get this interest of yours in Homer,” Bliss told him, as they stepped into a westbound Bloor subway train.  Bliss managed to yank Fish inside just as the doors were closing.
     “I thought I might write something about him,” Michael said.
     “Oh geez, there’s a really bad idea!”
     “Why? Most artists are desperate for coverage.”
     “Well not Homer.  He’s a real private guy.”
     “How private?”
     “Look,” said Bliss, “just don’t write anything about him, okay?”
     “It’d be more about his work than about him.”
    “Doesn’t matter,” Bliss told him.  “Don’t do it.”
     Michael was thinking this over when he noticed his left leg felt warm and wet.  He looked down.  Fish was pissing on him.