Today on the way home from work, I was reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice when I caught a glimpse of an extraordinary piece of artwork. The guy sitting across from me was drawing the guy sleeping next to me in his sketchbook with a pen and it looked amazing. I will admit I stared.
After that, I couldn’t completely concentrate on P&P anymore. I kept checking on the artist and tried to catch another glimpse of his pages, but they were well-guarded.
Eventually, I was pulled back into my book. When I next looked up a few minutes later, I realized he was drawing me. This incredible artist was drawing me reading my book!
I was honoured by this, but torn because as fascinating as it was to be an artist’s live model, I couldn’t see what he was drawing and I was really invested in my book. At one point, someone got on the train and stood between me and the artist and the artist actually got up to look around him to study me before going back to his sketch.
He got off at the station before mine. I never did get to see how he drew me and although I am endlessly curious, I understand sketchbooks can be very personal so I didn’t ask. He had his name on the front though and I tried looking him up but I guess he isn’t very established yet because there’s no trace of him anywhere.
This whole experience made me start thinking of every bored person on the train as a piece of art unto themselves. Some people don’t seem that interesting until you imagine how they might be rendered with paper and ink. And then you try to imagine what you might look like to an artist.
I also thought of some other interesting characters I’ve run into on the train.
There’s the mobster. There was one guy who came on the train and immediately said to his wife (very loudly) “How depressing are these?” as he gestured to everyone on the train, including me. I couldn’t argue. Once I was staring into space and then suddenly realized my eyes just happened to be on a clear plastic bag that was filling (not altogether successfully) with pee. I won’t get into that one.
It’s the people who make the most boring part of my day that much more bearable, and I’m very thankful for it. I’m also thankful for all my followers who’ve stayed despite my inexcusable absence, and you, for reading this far. Thanks.