Monroe and State
January 21, 2011 8:10-9:10 am
Are we Hug Zealots, Hug Evangelists?
It was COLD, I knew Aurora was hoping I would suggest we cancel. But we did it, met at the office and suited up, warmers in mittens and shoes. I stared at the illustrations that flank the doors at American Apparel, and Aurora gasped every once in a while about cars almost hitting people. I like to look at those simple line drawings, blown up and blank staring. I want to color them in with giant markers. I think of my own drawings when I was in high school. I loved to use simple black ink, brush or pen. Over and over I would draw the contours of a woman, very quickly, until papers piled up on the floor, until I was tired of it. Then I would search the floor for my favorites ones and study them. I think of my Patrick Nagel poster and the album Rio by Duran Duran. I remember the dormered ceiling in my bedroom when I moved to the third floor to have my own bathroom. I remember thinking I wanted to be sexy. I remember sneaking onto the roof of the house to smoke cigarettes and stare at the sky. I wanted to embody these women, these fashionista archetypes. I wanted to defy everything and risk everything. I came back to the present.
I watch as a young man and woman stand near the entrance door between the drawings I am contemplating, talking, looking at us, unlocking the door to the store. They dont make eye contact with us at all, just look at the sign and then kind of over us, assessing more the landscape in front of them. A few minutes later, the woman comes back out, her to go cup in hand, and walks to the corner we are standing, maybe a foot away. She waits for the light. She crosses the street. She does not almost get hit by an oncoming car, turning too fast in the crosswalk. She comes back a few minutes later. Again, she does not acknowledge us, and we are dismissed.
We do have exurberant passersby though, smiling so big and with such enthusiasm exclaiming the HUG. These moments are sublime. I can relax in myself here with Aurora, more than I could relax here with only myself. I have her to hold onto, as I watch the world go by. My struggle with acceptance and inhibition seem distant, even forgotten as we giggle, hum quietly to each other, and rub each others back in silence. I feel myself growing inside.