Finally, I’m heard

Finally, I’m heard

When I was a kid I found it easier to make art rather than use words. I used to carry around a pad of paper and crayons and draw out whatever I wanted to communicate with another person. People would often get confused and say things like, “Oh, that’s a nice drawing. What’s it supposed to be?” Then I’d do another drawing to express my frustration that they didn’t understand the first drawing. Eventually people would avoid me if they saw me coming.

Before long I had to start using words in conversations, but I wasn’t nice about it, and people would say I was being belligerent. As a consequence I kept my interactions with others few and far between. I mostly spent time alone, creating multitudes of art that expressed my dissatisfaction with the situation.

El Greco's Assumption of the Virgin

When I got my time-machine, the first person I visited was the great painter, El Greco, in his home town of Toledo, Spain, in the year 1577. To me he was the ultimate painter because he was known for only ever using a few words, begrudgingly, and that was to buy painting supplies. I felt that we would communicate beautifully through our art.

I found El Greco in his studio, in the midst of painting his masterpiece, The Assumption of the Virgin. I took out a pad of paper and crayons and made a drawing that expressed my gratitude with meeting him. El Greco looked at what I’d drawn, snorted his disapproval, and went back to painting.

I got out another sheet of paper and drew a picture that expressed the hurt I felt from traveling through hundreds of years to meet him, only to be snubbed. I had to hold the drawing in front of his painting to get him to take a look. With his brush, El Greco plopped a dollop of carillon blue smack into the middle of my drawing.

I lost it and put my head through The Assumption of the Virgin. El Greco wailed and punched me in the stomach. We rolled around on the floor, gouging, scratching, and striking one another. We were soon covered in paint, splinters from broken frames, and soaked in turpentine. Finally we lay still in exhaustion.

We got up slowly, and in silence, cleaned up the studio.

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