Juxtaposing Past and Present
The blank paper waited, eternally patient. Always ready for this moment, finally here. Now my pencil finally commits to casting image onto it.
Initially hesitantly, unsure, the pencil moves, presses down, pauses, then moves. It’s almost like it’s doing as it wishes, and it would be preferable to believe this image was not in the mind of the artist, but a construct of an over-imaginative pencil.
As your eyes are drawn the pencil begins to move more surely, the hand remembers these lines, and familiarity brings confidence.
Your focus is on something beyond the page, as if you look into the room, not at your artist, not so direct, but you’re looking at something intently. But the glasses are left off; in this case you do not need them, and you always looked better without them. Despite the intensity of your focus, crinkle lines flow from the outside corners of your eyes, showing a small amount of joy your mouth will emphasise when it makes it onto the page. Above your eyes sit impeccable brows, dark and perfectly arched. The colour matches your dark, almost black, hair. Deliciously imperfect. “Floopy,” you called it; uncontrollable due to it’s several inch length and slight curl.
While the sun-touched depths of colour fail to appear on the page, the colours seem to almost sit just beneath the page. The tan of your naturally brown skin, dark at the height of summer, the gold of your earring that you wore defiantly—your work requested its removal often but never too insistent as they never wanted to annoy you in fear you would leave. A sentiment that seems to follow you everywhere.
Between your sketched eyes and your as yet invisible mouth, your nose is drawn in. Neither too wide nor too narrow for your face. To most it’s straight, but there was an incident when you were younger that you talked of just once. A fight over… well, you never said what. Punches thrown, your nose broken. It was set, but on careful inspection you can see your straight nose is not actually as straight as it seems.
The pencil moves on, down past your philtrum to your lips.
It rushes over them, trying to avoid sparking thoughts of kisses those lips bestowed. They’re left shadowy and seem almost transient, like the words they spoke, the promises they made. Perhaps memories of kisses would have been better thoughts.
Skipping to the jaw, which is softly angled, clean-shaven. It’s softness makes the strong nose the most prominent feature.
The pencil halts suddenly as the door opens. He never comes in here, not normally, hadn’t done for months.
Yet here he is, and he talks: “What are you doing in here?”
He looks angry. Those perfect brows pushed together creating a crevasse between them which is never completely gone these days. His teeth are clenched now that he’s spoken. He’s prepared to fight. He waits for the anger to be thrown back at him, but today it’s not.
His anger is softened by confusion. “What are you doing in here?” Softer this time, more genuinely a question. He sees the picture and picks it up. “What is this?”
“No it isn’t.”
He stares at it, frown deepening then relaxing repeatedly as if he fights some kind of internal battle. Then, battle either won or lost, he looks at the photo hanging on the wall over the desk. It’s recent, a reminder of now. In it he’s suited up, hair short and sans earring; he’s replaced that look with an immaculately trimmed goatee.
He looks back at the drawing for a long time and eventually says, “I’m sorry.” Then he leaves, with the picture, and I can’t decide what he means.