Friday, October 9, 2009

Something I've Got to Ask

So here is something I really wanted to ask Bernice after class but I wanted to go home first to make sure I wasn't imagining things. Twice, she spontaneously started drawing at the end of class and when she was done, handed her paper right to me. First time, I thought, funny lady Bernice, of course, drawing in a writing class, I wouldn't expect anything less from her. When she gave me the paper, she also gave me a look like,"Here you go. This should speak for itself." So I took her cue and didn't ask. The same thing happened today, same spontaneous drawing, same "self-explanatory" transfer. And immediately I thought, isn't this the same exact image?

I ran home to my mini archive for this class (a folder of notebook pages.) And sure enough, it was like she ran her drawing from two weeks ago through a xerox machine and just pressed "80% smaller." Who is this? Is this person real or a figment of her imagination? The ultra-feminine super-dainty profile on the page looks nothing like the Bernice I've come to know: rowdy, tomboyish, mischief coming right out of her cheeks. Everything about this pair of drawings is a mystery to me. I laid them side by side and stared at them with my mouth open. My husband and I discussed them like paintings in a museum. We've never seen anything like this. We don't know what to make of them.

Bernice can really talk. Once she starts, she goes around and around like a rocket that you can't stop. Fiery opinion. Fiery humor. But here I am left with her soft, wordless pages. I wonder if I shouldn't ask her about them, and see if I get a third one the next time I see her.