Monday, July 28, 2008

The Writer

I had a strange encounter tonight.

I rode my bike down near Liberty Heights Fresh trying to catch the a little fleeting sunset for a "10 Minutes from Home" photography assignment. After a few minutes of futile searching, I stepped off my bike and started to walk, hoping my slower pace would help me to spot a subject. I had just finished a nervous photo-shoot on a neighborhood doorstep when I heard a voice call out from behind me. The man asked me to come a closer to where he sat on his porch across the street, and, surprised and unsettled, I obliged him.

He first showed me a beautiful rose he'd nurtured near the front wall of his house. I quickly took a few pictures in hopes that he'd let me go. Just as I began to walk away, however, he asked me in a smooth, quiet voice, "Hey, do you have 15 bucks?" I immediately started backing away, "Oh great, he wants to sell me drugs," I thought.

"No, I don't have any money on me."

"I don't care if you have it on you! Have you ever had 15 bucks?" He asked.

Phew, what a relief! He's not going to try and rob me!

"Well, yeah, I guess so."

"Well head up to the Museum of Fine Arts!"

He then spent about the next half hour delivering a subtle and eloquent narration of his experiences with Picasso and Monet, artists he previously hadn't cared much for. "When their pictures were only this big, Pssh!" He told me, indicating with his hands the small size we normally view these masterworks in. His story resonated with simplicity and beauty, like a true contemporary writer.

I've always imagined it'd be a little strange to meet an author in real life. They almost feel a little too disconnected from normal life in their work to have real interactions with people. Now, I think I know what that is really like.


The PoetLoses his position on worksheet or page in textbook
May speak much but makes little sense
Cannot give clear verbal instructions
Does not understand what he reads
Does not understand what he hears
Cannot handle “yes-no” questions

Has great difficulty interpreting proverbs
Has difficulty recalling what he ate for breakfast, etc.
Cannot tell a story from a picture
Cannot recognize visual absurdities

Has difficulty classifying and categorizing objects
Has difficulty retaining such things as
addition and subtraction facts, or multiplication tables
May recognize a word one day and not the next

-Tom Wayman


Audrey said...

Wow. Kevin, very well written. I want to see some of this photography assignment!!

Mr. Kramer said...

I love encounters like this. You always start out taken aback that this complete stranger wants to talk to you, but once you realize they aren't a creeper then they usually always have something interesting to say. I also want to see your photos.

Jocelyn said...

that is really neat! I have never really had a conversation with a stranger before, it's amazing how many brilliant and amazing people are in this world that we have never met.

Anthony said...

I very much enjoyed this entry Keverino. Jocelyn said it best "t's amazing how many brilliant and amazing people are in this world that we have never met." and when you couple that with Kramer's "then they usually always have something interesting to say." I mean... it's true. There are always very interesting encounters to have in the world. And you write... well, it's not my style by any stretch of the imagination, but it's really top notch quality. Thoughtful and dreamlike in a sense. I have a hard time knowing it's YOU in there writing it all sometimes. Kudos.