Jul 29, 2010

Woman at Bryant Park.

Jul 27, 2010

A girl at Bryant Park

Jul 24, 2010

Jul 21, 2010

The last time I saw her was October 13 of last year. We broke up the year prior, then tentatively began seeing each other the following summer. During our visits I felt the ever present uncertainty of how long we might continue.

I was in Montreal with her for a long weekend. On the last morning of my visit, we embraced before she left for work. I was to leave her apartment an hour later and fly back to New York. She hugged me in the entrance of her apartment and said she would miss me. When she closed the door after her, I looked around at the quiet apartment– at the unmade bed, the books on her shelf, the tiny cosmetics bottles in the bathroom. The contents of the small apartment merged into a hallucination of our life together as a married couple, a life that existed in a different reality.

If I had known that was the last time I would see her, perhaps I would have held her a moment longer and a bit tighter that morning. I want to go back and visit myself at that time and say something, perhaps offer some advice based on the nine months that followed. I don't know what I would say, though.

Jul 19, 2010

An elderly couple at the park. Not a good drawing.

I wondered if, when they first met, they knew that they would be together in old age.

While drawing the scene, I was reminded of another elderly couple I saw on a bus in San Francisco 14 years ago.

It was a sunny spring day and I sat behind them as the bus passed Golden Gate park. Sitting near the front of the bus were two young women of about twenty who seemed to be dressed for hiking in the mountains– flannel shirts, rugged jeans, no makeup, hair pulled back. Both wore thick, heavy hiking boots. The girl closest to us was the one I remember. She was extraordinarily beautiful. She had a chilling beauty that warped the immediate space around her. Imagine a 20-year old Grace Kelly in hiking clothes. Flawless skin, perfect high cheekbones. Her eyes were limpid pools of intense blue. She spoke to her companion in a European language I couldn't identify. The elderly couple was looking at the girls too. I looked away. Desire is the root of all suffering, according to Buddha.

The girls left at the next stop. The elderly man turned to his wife and commented.

"Clunky boots those girls were wearing," he said.

"God, she was absolutely beautiful!" the elderly woman exclaimed.

"Oh I wasn't looking. I just noticed the big boots."

"How could you not notice?" she said grinning at him with a knowing twinkle in her eye. "Shame on you."

He grinned back at her and I saw that they were flirting. I thought about what it must be like to still be so delighted with each other at such an advanced age, after many years together. Thinking about them makes me feel a combination of hope and sadness.

Jul 17, 2010

A drawing of an older man at the library.

I drew this after reading some statistics in a book on aging. By the time they are my age, 88% of men and 91% of women have been married.

As a child, I was somewhere in the middle of the statistical bell curve in terms of abilities. Not the smartest in class but definitely not the dumbest. Not the fastest runner but definitely not the slowest. Not terribly exceptional at anything (except music, but that's a whole other story) but able to get by.

I know that I tried harder than other kids at a lot of things. For example, in my childhood swim class I was the only one who could swim the entire length of the pool underwater. I was of average swimming ability and average lung capacity so the only reason I was able to do it was I just tried harder. Under water, as you complete three quarters of the length of the pool, you want to go up for air. But I just pushed through that feeling and kept swimming until I touched the wall.

The point is, I tried my best at something trivial like swimming the length of a pool underwater and I was able to do better than average. I don't know why am I so far down on the bell curve with something as important as finding a mate.

Jul 15, 2010

At the sketchy playground.

Jul 13, 2010

Woman at the plaza on 51st St.

Jul 11, 2010

Man with a biker's cap at the cafe.

Jul 6, 2010

Elderly couple at the park.

Jul 4, 2010

Two women at the park.

Jul 2, 2010

Blah drawing of a blah guy on a blah night.