We needed to do something special with our cousin, who was leaving the next day. So we settled on taking him to dinner, at a place which was reported by an Italian friend to have pizza beyond our expectations.
The busyness there was also beyond our expectations. After a while, I began to tap and swipe my pointer finger across the table. It wasn’t a gesture of irritation. I was drawing, without pen and without paper. Imaginary lines traced across the faces of the people at my table. Faintly twitching my finger, I copied out my neighbours’ features and saved them in my memory. I was intrigued by the curly hair of the lady next to us, and I tried to memorize the wavy pattern. I couldn’t make a drawing then and there, but for the moment was occupied by teaching myself how.
The pizza, it turned out, was well worth the wait. But the day was not over yet, and we were still feeling adventurous. There was a park and pier close by, and we decided to take a quick jaunt. I looked over head at the silhouettes of trees against the pale evening sky. The contrasting image begged to be copied. My mind reverted to paper and ink again, with the sky being paper and the trees being made up of scribbles from my pen. It was a tempting project. But again, I had no materials on hand.
Then we passed a small band by the park. Little brother paused to dance, tapping out the moves he learned in his highland dancing class. At this age, he’s not afraid to be so free, even in public. The picture it all made was perfect. It was a beautiful summer evening, an outing with the family. The band seemed to be cheered by lil bro’s dancing, and their music was spirited.
This time I put away my mental sketch pad, and just watched.