10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Close At Hand

He'd started out small, when he was younger. A few scribbles on the back of his hand when he was bored. Maybe he'd write something down on the palm so he could remember it later.

As he went through high school, either classes got more boring or his attention span just got shorter, because the patterns began to grow more complicated. Some days he would come home with ink all down his left arm, and since he tended to wear shorts, sometimes his legs would get the treatment as well. He did well in all his classes and behaved quite normally in all other ways, so while his ink-tattooing habit got him a lot of strange looks and a few trips to the school psychologist, it didn't really harm him any. Doodling, after all, is a common enough behavior; his choice of just where to doodle was the only peculiar note.

It was during his senior year of high school that the drawings reached their highest point of creativity. Jagged blocks and lines marched across his arms and legs, melding into graceful whorls and curves; they sometimes seemed almost to spell out messages in some unknown pictographic language. Every once in a while he would detail a fractal pattern in there somewhere, shapes splitting off into smaller versions of themselves, down into the most intricate levels of detail that he could get with a fine-point pen on skin. His art was a constant work in progress, for as older portions faded with time and soap and water, new drawings would take their place. He never considered himself an artist. Still, his skin was a canvas on which more than a few pens bled their last.

In college the patterns stopped. He was enrolled in the pre-law program at a fairly prestigious university; his classes were more interesting, now, or at least more challenging. There were other things to do besides doodle. By the end of his first semester, there was no sign that the ink had ever stained his skin at all.

He never considered himself an artist. But perhaps his life would have been a little more interesting if he had.

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