Friday, June 24, 2005

Have I become a miserable public servant?

Just a single subway station. Too short. Far too short. It was not the whiteness of her skin, the blackness of her hair, the pursed lips, the angle of her right leg with the floor, the way her two small feet touched each other awkwardly. It was her downward look, the casual saddness of it. I knew I had no time. I accepted defeat. I became samurai. I went for the the useless cavalry charge. I tried to shut out my ears, my sense of smell, of taste, my analytical brain, I tried to become an Eye and a Hand. My heart grew still, my breath paused, I tried extending time, I tried to cheat the clock. I drew without looking at the paper, I knew I had no chance, there was no time, still I drew...I was ready to make a deal with the Spirits. I want, oh God, oh Devil, to make this work. I want, for once, to really learn how to draw, to be able to capture in a second the essence of a smile, the perfect curve of a shoulder. I want to freeze this moment. She will never again be as beautiful as this. I want to freeze this second so that archeologists in future Eras may pause and wonder and weep that they were born at the wrong time. Grant me this. Grant me this now. Should I beg? Should I curse? Should I draw a perfect pentagram on this dirty floor?

The moment came, the clock struck, I gave in, she glanced up, the door opened, I left, the moment was gone...

Dear God, you are cruel...

Only as I left did the thought hit me. Why did I leave? I was late for my job. Since when does art play second fiddle to a job? Would 15 minutes kill me? I traded a perfect drawing for a clean sheet? Have I become that old? Too late to turn back. Doors closed, the train plunged into darkness, bearing the moment with it...Dear God, forgive me, I squander your gifts.

What have I become? I cannot live with the shame. I shall commit seppuku with my useless mechanical pencil.

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