If I could draw a portrait of you I’d start with how we met. How I was searching for a first edition Jane Austen novel and you the latest Batman comic strip. I’d draw the frown on your face when I beat you to the checkout line with my “sissy book” and I stencil in an aside with my pithy reply on the virtues of peotry and how forward thinking Austen was. While somehow capturing your shock as I told you the 90’s storylines for the Batman comic were better than the current ones. I’d color in that furrow right above your brow. The one you always get when your upset or flustered while somehow managing to capture that moment we went from mortal enemies to friends over a cup of coffee and a shared hatred of Super Man.
The background would be that coffee shop on Longfellow and Humphrey, the one with the wonky , leaning, table. We’d spent a lot of hours talking and at that table. You with your sleeves rolled up, eyes focused, mouth jabbering away. Me catching every two words. Happily annoyed by your nonsense. You’d debate the color of the sky if it weren’t so obviously blue.
I’d capture your heart. Your generosity. You carve out time from your schedule for everyone. Family, friends, strangers and somehow you don’t make me feel like I have to fight for your attention. The things that matter to me, matter to you because they matter to me. You don’t pretend you can save the world, you simply don’t want to be the reason someone’s world falls apart. How can I defend my heart against such a soul?
You’re no saint. Perhaps I’d add blending lines of red and darker shades of gray to symbolize your passionate, secretive, and mischievous sides. For someone so transparent, you can be so hemmed in. As open as you are, few truly know you. Few know your irreverent sense of humor, your ridiculous stubborn streak, your penchant for profanity when frustrated.
If I could draw I’d try to capture all of this but I can’t. I can’t even sketch a decent stick figure. Perhaps that’s a good thing because how could a possibly capture all of you in one portrait. I’d struggle to find the right colors to capture every mood, every variance, I’d struggle to capture you. So I’ll stick with words. Perhaps then you’ll see what I see when i look at you. Either way it’s all I got.