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The Artist On Fire

Posted August 10th, 2017 at 02:05 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
The building where i work sometimes hosts art shows in a front lobby. Although poorly organized, it can be a nice thing – artists get exposure and we all get to see art work of varying quality. Honestly most of it is okay, just a few times was it really awful.

A couple weeks ago a young man- a down and out young man from the look of his clothes and hair and backpack- came in and gave a big envelope to the receptionist. It seemed a little odd, but she accepted the package and the young man quickly left. When she opened it she discovered it was full of sketches.

She showed them around. The sketches weren’t awful. They weren’t outstanding either. It just seemed it was a weird thing for the young man to hand them to her without a word and depart.

Every week after that he’s come in and handed over an envelope with more sketches. When we try to talk to him, he leaves quickly.

We looked at his art work and decided that the young man should have an art show. Perhaps he lives on the street, or he’s in a group home for the mentally ill or something like that- we don’t know. But his art is just as nice as that which is displayed in the lobby area and why shouldn’t he have a show?

The arts shows are organized by a nice older woman. She’s retired, so she’s impossible to reach and always busy. What is it that those retired people do all day anyway?

She was quickly on board with our idea and she hung around and finally was able to intercept the envelope dropping young man and arrange for him to have a show. She couldn’t get much out of him except his name and that he’d be happy to show his work. He couldn’t look her in the eye and he wouldn’t sit down.

We’re all seriously rooting for this guy by now. We’re making plans for an opening and we’re all going to bring food and maybe even buy some of his sketches- if they’re for sale and not too expensive.

Sad thing is once the date for his show is set he doesn’t come back. No more envelopes of sketches. It doesn’t worry us too much though- that’s what a normal person would do- save the sketches for the show. What made us think that a person who lives in a different reality would follow the rules in ours?

On Saturday he showed up again, first time in three weeks. He appeared very distraught. We greeted him warmly. He looked at the floor, the wall, the ceiling, anywhere but at us. He was cancelling the show. It was not going to happen.

We tried to be gentle and encouraging. We’d help him get the show up. No, he said. The world is going to end. There’s a death star heading for earth. There’s no point, he said, and he left.

I can’t pretend that I know what’s inside his head. In our reality, the version I think I share with my coworkers, it’d be a good idea to put the show up anyway. I don’t know if the world’s ending soon. I’m going to try to remember to make the best of each day just in case.

We haven’t seen the young man again, but we want to. We don’t want to dispute the world’s end- in our sad times it’s a distinct possibility. We just want to say please put up your show anyway. Why should we let death tomorrow interfere with appreciating your sketches today?
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flameslayer93's Avatar
Poor guy.
Posted August 15th, 2017 at 12:44 AM by flameslayer93 flameslayer93 is offline
 
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