Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic

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On scraps of paper I outline large clear eyes, a somber young face, tousled hair. This is the boy I met once between the pages of a book. We have much in common, he and I, but years and the barrier of fiction stand between us. I draw lines to form limbs, and a suggestion of expression on that pale paper face. I cut around the outline and watch him appear. Each time I draw him, the boy comes different off the page. Will he smile today? Will he weep for friends and family lost to the darkness? The lines guide me to his heart, sure and deft. Between the lines I divine intent and deeper meaning. Could he be my lost childhood? Today he is a future I've avoided. Tomorrow he might be my schoolmate's tragic past.

His friends take shape in adjectives and action. I clothe them carefully in bright paper scraps and set them off exploring the might-have-been, the might-yet-be. All my friends know their faces and their history. What if, this time, a father had not died? What if a best friend died tomorrow? How can you grasp victory in defeat, or twist a triumph into tragedy?

Warm green eyes, hazel eyes, ice-blue eyes mocking and cold. Paint them with hints of ink in watercolor on rough thick paper. Paint hair joyous and flaming scarlet in gouache, tempera, acrylic, oil. Shade a paper robe in calligraphic sable, swirling the edges. Map out all these things and more. Paper forgives a line hastily drawn. The results are subtle or vivid, but always the same lives, the same faces. It is a kaleidoscope in the notebook as one man dies a hundred times, each time a different way.

I play at paper dolls, and read their lives between the lines.

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