Sketches – 47

Are you okay?

Yeah, just really nervous
This city is strange to me, and
This exhibit is huge

Yeah, but it’s exciting, right?

Right… sort of


You watch people walk through an gallery
They glance at one of your paintings
Then they keep walking


You spent hours on it
You poured a lifetime worth of passion
And planning into a canvas
It’s not that people hate it
It’s that they aren’t even interested
In really looking at it

Yeah, that would suck

I mean, you know
You’ve played the piano places
Where no one was really listening.

Yeah, it was the worst
It’s why I don’t do it for a living

This is more than my living
It’s my life

It’s possible, though,
That many people will look,
And will love one or more of your paintings

I know.
They might

Is there anything else?

Nah, I mean,
We went through the faux-pregnancy scare stuff
Back home.
It’s just been…
It’s been a lot

Well, I love your paintings
I think they’re genius
And I think you’re brilliant
And if I was a critic
I’d not only lead with you
In my write-up
Nobody would know from reading me
That any other artists were
Part of the exhibit

That’s also a lot
But I’ll take it

We have seven hours before
The gala dinner
You want to just chill here for awhile?

Yeah, let’s just get room service, and…

… and what?

Get my mind off all this worrying

I think we can do that.
I’m not just gonna walk by
Whatever might be on display

Now that’s what I’m talking about

Pretty Much Impossible

It’s pretty much impossible not to love her.

Ok, sure, she comes behind me and opens blinds I’ve been closing. “There’s still light,” she says.

“That’s starlight.”

“Well. Even so.”

“Dear, that’s — kinda crazy.”

“I am a creature of the light.”

“Ok, then, just… close ‘em before you come to bed.”

“How ‘bout I close YOU before I come to bed.”

“I’m not… I don’t even know what that means…”

“Hey, I’m wearing your glasses. Do I look like you?”

“I don’t know. I can’t see.”

“You know, I read on Thought Catalog that men stop really seeing their wives after six years.”

“Only when their wives steal their glasses. And I didn’t know you read Thought Catalog.”

“Well, I am female. Here, get a picture of me, I look exactly like you…”

“Where in Greece exactly is Pelloponesia?”

“Southwestern, I believe.”

“So, from what I gather, Sparta murdered their infants, and Athens molested their male children. But at least those boys could be philosophical about it.”

What are you watching?”

“It’s a Japanese remake of ‘Gone With The Wind’, I believe.”

“A Japanese remake … wait, what?”

“I mean, I think. I don’t actually have the subtitles on, so I’m not sure.”

“How long have you been watching?”

“Oh, about two hours. There’s a girl who bought a dress. And she keeps dreaming about her grandfather, who used to bring her flowers when she was little. And something about a chess board, and some koi.”

“How is that in any way like ‘Gone With The Wind’?”

“Because I slept through half of that, too.”

It’s pretty much impossible not to love her.

So I do.

Sketches – 46

You look
Very deep in thought

I am

Would you
Like to share?

Um… no,
Not right now.


I mean,
It’s nothing bad, it’s just
Long… and complicated


“That’s a word people use
When they don’t want to
Tell the truth.”

I remember that line. That’s
From “This Is Us,” right?

Yes, it is.

It’s up to you.
I pretty much live here, so…

I’ll need a few days,
I think.

Got it.
I will confess, I’m curious, but
I can wait

Do you mind if I
Change the subject, then?

Of course not, but
I won’t know if you did or not,
Since I don’t know
What we were just talking about

Take my word for it, then.
I don’t think the cat is too happy
About those dogs being here

No, he is not.
But it’s only, what?
Two more weeks?

Not even that.
She will take them back

How is she?

Oh, pretty good, I think.
Very upbeat.

So you’re worried
About the cat’s
Psychological state?

Not really.
I just didn’t think about it
When I asked you about
Keeping the dogs.
What kind of mother
Would I have been,
Forgetting my own kids?

There’s like a leap in there.
A big one.

If you remember,
I said
I didn’t want to talk about it.

I’m sorry.
My apologies.
Wait… are you….


But I might be

Sketches – 45

What are you looking at
So intently?

Do you remember Donna?
We saw her at Verdi’s.


She just found out
That she has cancer.
Thyroid cancer.

That’s horrible.
Still, the survival rate is
Pretty good.

What do they do for it?

Radioactive iodine,
I believe.

I thought we’d offer
To watch her dogs
For awhile

You know I’m scared to death
Of dogs.

She has cancer.

Go ahead and offer, then.
What kind are they?


Are those mean?

They are about as sweet
As they come.
Like you.

But effective

No, I mean it.
It is sweet of you…
She says, “Thanks.”

Tell her she’s welcome.
So when are we picking up
The Malteds?

They’re Maltese,
Not chocolate.


You’re hopeless.

Sketches – 44

I hate painting

Did you say “paining”
Or “painting”?

What’s the difference?

I got nothing.

It’s like
“Here are some random
Acrylic pigments.
Create a world.”

Sounds… daunting

I’m severely daunted

What have you been
Working on?

It’s supposed to be
What downtown looked like
In the 1940’s

It’s blank

Now you see the issue

I do.
Are you working
Off of photos
Or what?

Yes, I have
Some beautiful photos.

These are amazing.
Where did these come from?

At one time,
Cities all over the world
Had things called “newspapers”.
They took pictures.
It was part of something
They called

If you’re tired of painting,
You could always be a history teacher.
Your memory is phenomenal.
What was this city like
In the 1940’s, anyway?

Two industries, really.
This city was the nation’s third largest
Textile producer back then.
They also trained 80% of the soldiers
That ever saw combat right here.
Soldiers all over the world,
Came through here
And wore clothes from here.
That’s it!
That’s my idea.
Get out of here.
I need to paint.

But I —

Go on. Shoo!
Inspiration calls.
I love painting.


Sketches – 43

I’m kind of tired tonight.
I think I’m just going to try
And go straight to sleep

. . .

Or not

. . .
That’s up to you.
However. . .


Can be harder to live with
Than fatigue

Is that a trade off
You’ve had to make often?

Um, yeah.
But everyone does, I think.
It’s universal.

I don’t want to miss
Anything I’d regret

I promise you’ll sleep better
More importantly,
So will I

So this
Is about you?

It’s about us.
That includes you and me

So I’m taking one. . .

. . . for the team, yes.


Sketches – 42

What do you see out there?

I see a world with less drama in it,
And I want to live there

I thought drama was
Supposed to be good for you –
You know, cathartic

You are thinking of Greek tragedy, not
Drama of the kind I’m talking about –
This kind of drama makes me want to
Gouge my eyes out,
Like Oedipus

Oedipus? Sounds complex.

Was tragic.

What’s been going on?

It’s stuff over at
House of Kindness.
With some of the other

There’s drama at
The homeless shelter?
And it’s not
The actual homeless doing it?

That pretty much
Sums it up.
That’s why I am looking
Out this window
At rain

What is the drama about?

It is about stupid,
Is what it is.
It has to do with
Who gets to park
In the director’s spot
When she’s not there

You are fighting over
At the homeless shelter?

I’m not fighting about it —
Half the time,
You drop me off.

What difference does it make?

Good question.
No answer.
It’s about stupid,
Like I said.
Drama sucks.

The people there
Have been sleeping on sewer grates

Yes, you’d think the workers
Would have more perspective.

Didn’t Aristophanes
Write a comedy where
Homeless people go on strike
To protest bad drama
Or something?

Oh, yes, I remember that one.
I think it’s called
“The Numskulls”

House of Kindness…