Wednesday, April 30, 2008
It's a miracle
"It's a miracle!" That's what my father always says when something small, but wonderful happens. He throws his hands up in the air and says it in this certain type of old New York accent that you hear nowhere else, except amongst speakers of Yiddish. He didn't speak like that when I was young. It's sort of like the joke about elderly Jewish New Yorkers; that they have to migrate to Florida when they turn 65. My father didn't do that, but he developed the accent.
I've always wondered about these types of accents. Why do so many gay men have the same way of speaking, even if they're from entirely different places? I've got an accent that is hard for many people to discern. Only once in my life did anyone peg me - "below 14th street New York ex-druggie" is what they said. Talk about being outed.
And I just outed myself. I vowed last week I was going to be brutally honest, and so I am continuing to do so. There are some reasons why this might not be the best idea in the world (like savvy potential employees who google my name) but they are going to find stuff I didn't put up myself. And at this point in my life, I am sick of hiding who I am, who I've been, and how I feel.
This is not what I meant to post. When I hit "create" I meant only to write about starting to draw again.
Before I became a commercial ilustrator back in the 80's I used to draw for fun. I drew for fun probably every day of my life since I could hold a crayon. I mostly drew people for I was a lonely kid. I also drew maps of imaginary towns and summer camps with accompanying lists and descriptions of their residents (more evidence of loneliness, huh?) I also drew shoes and clothes. I was a strange mixture of girly-girl and tomboy. I loved making my own paper dolls and I loved playing with Barbie and friends. I also liked to play rough with the boys. I got into fights all the time. This dichotomy has lasted my entire life. It doesn't bother me, but it seems to confuse others.
As usual, I've gotten off track. When I was in the psychiatric ward last week (more on that another time) I was sitting at a table with a bunch of other "patients" (more correctly: inmates) and they were coloring. I got a piece of blank paper and drew an ethereal woman's face. Everyone was stunned, for it was quite beautiful. I gave it to a fellow who had been very kind to me. But then he asked me if I could draw some cartoon character from Looney Tunes. This is when I realized I was finally free from drawing for others. As a illustrator and a tattoo artist, drawing was always what someone else ordered, like a side of fries. I began to loathe both drawing and certain images (flowers with banners, wolf heads, angels. . .)
When that fellow asked me to draw the cartoon character, I said "No". It was so simple a answer and it gave me pleasure. Not mean pleasure, but the pleasure of being free. I then started to draw a shoe with stiletto heals and a big bow on it. It served absolutely no purpose except the pleasure of drawing it. I was just doodling. This young girl was talking about how mad she was at some doctor and she said she wanted to kick him in the rear end (this is the clean version). . .I started jotting down some of what she was saying around the shoe. She saw it and a big smile lit up her face. I didn't draw that drawing for her, but I gave it to her. Hey: win-win!!
Incredibly, I couldn't find any unlined paper in my house, so I bought a cheap sketch pad today. I came home and drew five drawings of shoes. It was fun! I reiterate: it was FUN!