“Do you do people?”
Usually when someone tries to make a conversation at the shows, they invariably mention, “do you do (something you don’t do)” It might be drawing in color, or painting or just an animal they don’t see in the collection. It’s fine, usually I explain that ballpoint pen is a niche that’s getting me a lot of attention… or tell them that it’s something I’d like to get into in the future… or I just politely say “that’s a great idea!”
I’ve drawn people before, and much prefer the subtlety and versatility of pencil. Occasionally, something special comes along that makes it worth the time and effort.
The first one was Pink. Her song, What About Us, got me through the worst of 2018.
She asked all the right questions:
- What about all the times you said you had the answers?
- What about all the broken happy ever-afters?
- What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
- What about love? What about trust?
- What about us?
I found a photo of her and her beloved dog Elvis, who tragically drowned in her pool. I was hoping that it would reach her, because it would’ve been my gift for all the good that she does for the world.
While I heard word got close to her, the drawing is still with me. Perhaps someday.
My second one was a birthday gift for my dear friend Robert. He’s a magician with a camera and doesn’t know how talented he really is.
I composited a picture of him and pets but didn’t realize that he has two cats.
(I just say that the second one is hiding behind him)
The third one is a true angel, David, and his patient puppy Baby Lucky. Baby Lucky had to endure costumes for every holiday. David was always beaming, and the costumes were always over-the-top festive… and Baby Lucky’s face always betrayed the moment.
David was always there for me while I struggled with getting my life back in order. He’d always ask questions, listen intently, and offer words of encouragement. Whenever I’d ask about his chemo treatments, he was always quick to say, “It’s fine. Let’s talk about you.”
When Baby Lucky passed over the rainbow bridge, I surprised him with a portrait. He said that act of kindness took our friendship even deeper than I thought possible.
But not deep enough to talk about “it”
Then one day, while working the video at the church, his name came up in the prayer list.
I texted, “hey, what’s up with that?”
“Can we talk?” came the reply.
The world stopped, while I got on the phone to dial.
“I only have about a week left,” he confessed. He said it in such a strong voice that it didn’t seem real.
I asked to see him, but he refused. He lost 50-60 pounds and his pride, that stubborn pride that always changed the subject, wouldn’t break even now.
So we talked… and talked… and talked.
We tried to out-love each other.
“You’re my angel!”
“No you are!”
I found myself saying the same words to him that I said to the little boy years ago.
“I’m going to miss you SO MUCH!!” I cried out, “Heaven’s supposed to wait!”
“We were supposed to grow into old men together, complaining about our joints!” I protested. “This isn’t how this story’s supposed to end!”
But he knew… and I knew… that this was it.
He was given one year to live eight years ago. That time was a gift… to everyone who knew him.
We knew that when we hung up that the time to say “goodbye” was done.
Even though we texted a few more lines after the call, we never spoke again.
He lasted two weeks instead of one. Always running the clock.
I drew a portrait of him and Baby Lucky… back together again.
It was on a poster at his memorial, where I was the host. It was an honor I never wanted, but humbly performed.
What about… all the broken happy ever-afters?
What about… all the plans that ended in disaster?
What about… love?
We go on.
Life is too short and precious to not live it to its fullest. That’s why I’m bringing my son with me to display my art in an Art Gallery in London, in April 2023. Please help make this dream come true. Every bit helps. https://gofund.me/f6cfc391