Art Man

Coming home late in the evening one winter day, I was walking to my dad’s car in the dark from the train. I had a beaten up blue US Open backpack on and was toting around a huge, hastily-made folder made of two large sheets of white paper stapled together. It was the day before winter break, and to transport some art paper from the classroom home, I had quickly put the folder together sandwiched around pieces of protective cardboard. In my large scrawling handwriting, I had written “V’S PAPER. DO NOT MANGLE.”

While trying to call my dad and carry everything at once, I ended up sorting my stuff out outside the taxi waiting area. A young guy of medium height who looked like he could be a surfer or snowboarder, depending on the weather, was passing by. He had an electric blue winter hat on with zigzagging strips of orange and red, with tassles covering the ears. As I was looking at the hat, we made eye contact and I must have smiled. As I turned away, he asked, “Are you an artist?”

I decided to go with it and said yes.

“Is that your work? Can I see it?” He explained that he was an artist, too.

“Sorry–it’s actually just blank paper. Art waiting to be made.”

He smiled and left after wishing me well. I was pleased and surprised that at the small sense of camaraderie with ¬†another person waiting at a train station who seemed like an artist. (Nothing against nice little Jewish girls, but it’s slightly more satisfying.)


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