Monday, September 10, 2012

Drawn to You

“Drawn to You” Fantasies

The impressionist colors of dusk across downtown San Diego washes over buildings calling back to different times, from horse-drawn saloons to bubble-driven condos. Jack Pilot watches the young women of every size and shape and color, many in their best try at the latest styles, as he strides the four-way crossing on Market Street and Fifth Avenue, with five seconds left on the walk light. Lots of men like himself---almost always dressed more simply, a reverse of the coloring of most animal genders---also crowded the crosswalk, some with dates, others with the boys, some looking for whoever the Gaslamp’s many bars might bring before the morning comes. Jack contents himself with what is there to take for free, the passing beauty possessed by no one particular, found everywhere, sometimes concentrated in a photogenic stand out in heels, or some model-tall waif in effortless shoes chosen for a comfortable stroll along the bar crawl. Images: so many more than memory can keep, raising the spirit in doses like bursting sunshine, some calling for repeated reflection…but all moving too quickly to sketch.

Jack likes to sketch, all ages, all walks of life. His fondness for pretty girls, those calling him to meditate on beauty, occasionally produces a drawing wrought quickly enough to go into the hands of the girl herself.

Giving a girl a picture had not come easily to Jack Pilot; he had to come out of the fantasy of enjoying her looks to really say something. Even then, he rarely offered a phone number or e-mail address. Once or twice this got him a date. The risk of getting shot down mattered less to him now, or rather, he began to embrace it. If he was willing to give his time and talents away for the chance to talk to the girl, what could it hurt, really? If only one could tell when the woman…when any person…is open to approach! He began to realize he would be able to tell from observing his subject ---in the time it takes to draw someone, you get a sense of your chances to really talk.

One day, he thinks, a drawing will draw someone to him.
Somewhere along the way, he’d kept company with a friend who would not be proud of himself, had taught him not to be proud of himself…Jack had so many wrong ideas based on the rather ordinary and common notion of how distasteful most things in life were, while a few things stood out as completely cool, and always done by someone else. Youthful smartass humor, with some reserve about the quiet dignity of honesty and the occasional selfless deed, bonded the friends, and eventually Jack began some serious work on finding himself, who he would be, what was he interested in giving constructive attention. Jack started drawing again after leaving college depressed, drew his way out with a funky dose of Prince’s two cd singles collection and some Replacements he found, living like he was cool enough to be something at least he liked.

Never believing in himself afforded a lot of time for daydreams of escape, but he needed a plan of his own. His love for comic books, his dip into the history of art, and just a bit of approval for himself generated from him one drawing after another, with many still promising to be good even on the journey to building fundamentals, just, with the pencil or pen, to say anything at all. Fundamentals didn’t occur to him for a long time: just drawings of energy, really, shapes at which he would not fail, without respect to realistic rules, just as he lived. He didn’t, after all, expect to do anything realistically well; he just wanted to live in peace with his dreams, and maybe, by little plan of his own, he would get lucky and enjoy a life of his own. So often was he captivated by his speeding mind’s array of questions in a world where many supposed rules and simplifications were, to his skeptical light, suspect, and still he prepared for the process of finding out which things said to be wrong for you are the best, and in what way, and for how long. Once compliments came his way for what he drew around people, he wanted fundamental improvement in rendering things with the illusion of reality.

Still, even if he was disappointed to be disappointed in his efforts at times, there was something good in any day where he drew. Drawing takes a connection. AT the gate of grander ambitions, he served away, sometimes with common objects, sometimes conveying a mood, but always discovering a kind of loving in his lines, their work together, the worshipful concentration upon an image. He always worked somewhere for little to no money, but he learned to stop worrying and simply draw. In this Jack found an achievement which called for awareness in the moment.

There's a lot more in mind, and considering the direction I began with in mind, this may be all I can share here. I actually started with a more humorous, even bizarre idea, but along the way the more introspective mood of my day asked something different first, so I hope you enjoyed. There's probably a novel in this...maybe one that didn't require TOO much research? LOL

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