Today I was late to class.
As usual, the difference between this class and my other classes is that art students prioritise participation over all else, which was great as I was 46 minutes late.
When I did arrive, ( caffeinated and ready to blog ) Vicki instead told us to find a partner and draw a portrait, eyes closed.
This activity enabled us to witness our collective lack of skill, leading all of us to question if our parents were in fact correct. We are definitely not ducks to water with drawing, however we do have our strengths elsewhere. Or at least Vicki has faith that we do. You could say its like asking a Neuro-surgeon to become a GP. Unconscious people are very different to treat than unmedicated ones, with audio complaints on loop.
Vicki being Vicki then tossed us some food for thought by pushing us to draw/feel the creases and dips that make up a face, with the pencil. Blindfolded.
It was an intricately beautiful notion, she said, as you get these detailed fragmented parts of the face, enabling you to appreciate more about it. To see the finer things that would have otherwise been overlooked if you saw the whole.
After nineteen years on this earth, I can honestly say flutter-feet is the first person I have encountered who has automatically triggered this doodling activity to commence in my mind.
Perhaps it was because when we first met I was high…
Perhaps not. Perhaps it is and will always be one of life’s many mystery boxes that came in the form of a walking, accented boy from East London.
Feet, hands, eyes, fingers. He was a rush of a bit of everything that happened to manifests in my mind, like a ball of yarn.
All I saw was one or two prominent features at a time. It was all my mind would allow. Like the location of a beauty mark that my memory would misplace. In the morning it seemed invisible. During the day, when I said something his conservative British upbringing declared to be unpunctuated, it glowed red like a burglar alarm. His eyes beaming a brilliant blue.
His sandy hair, the front always in disagreement with the back. Like they were made of two contrasting materials which just don’t have any respect for each other.
In my head, his disjointed disposition almost made it that much more shocking when I saw him in person, all glued together. Perhaps, it was because together we unlocked a world without aesthetics, which is also why he never seemed to notice when I forget to wear makeup.
Every day, every meeting, another layer joins the fold. And it doesn’t lessen; instead it stayed stuck to it’s seat, forced to notice the reaching hands that examined the condition of a unresponsive and beaten-up heart.
Some days it was so confusing, I tried to follow the loose threads all the way to the source, but it was bound so tight I couldn’t see exactly where it began. First meeting? Nope. He first came across as pedantic and too tall. Just thinking about it enables coarser fibres to grow in my hands.
Yet that time was even more confusing. He was confusing. I didn’t even know about him as a person let alone as anything else.
The form of love all out of shape in my eyes.
I have lived without it for so long, too long.
Love had only one face before. Now a new, tanner pair of hands had settled in someone else’s place. Feet yet to be understood as they were even larger than the ones before. Those that engage in the weird habit of entwining themselves in mine as they slept. And there they stayed, boney and too big. Upon touch, they responded sporadically like a gigantically awkward butterfly, diving into the safety of the sheets.
Flutter-feet has confirmed I was more than a shag as he had measured me with his eyes. They smiled for two seconds too long, as we both awaited for words that never seemed to arrive.
However learning the in’s and out’s of flutter-feet also came with confronting and unpicking threads of the past.
On good days, the past bobbed blissfully in my subconscious. On heavier days, when I peered closely, it was wrapped up in comparisons that made the ball of yarn shrivel in short jolts of pain. Pain that withdrew my palm from his, mirrored in his face looking stained.
Perhaps those threads were the last of their kind, left unpicked in order to make me feel the cold winds, left over from the last love. The love that carelessly left the door open behind them. Those lonely strands or perhaps his stupid mates on group chat, who decided to ping at 4am in the morning…. I still remember from then on, my awake status was beaming bright and hungry.
When he did finally awake after a few hours of this madness, the poor thing was interrogated for his kettle’s coordinates, while I had simultaneously shredded the pure threads of happiness from the night that was.
Drifting back to that night, I can still see pieces of his face slack and peaceful; sandwiched in a pillow framed-bed. The sheer thought lights up the ball of yarn, as it does little drunk doughnuts around and around in my head. His face staying still in that moment, even when the light came to life from beyond the curtains.
But alas, the adventures of flutter-feet and I had to come to a close. Entwining feet was a nice feeling, if only for a moment.
Instead of feeling bloated with disappointment, I am left feeling rather bold. Because now at least I know, love has a different face than the past.
Love can be anyone at anytime.
It can be instant or come in a series of chapters.