Tagged: street scene

Latest installment from the graphic novella The Java Knot. “So, it’s more than a habit… this pull to draw out in public. I don’t bring a book to read, I’m too fidgety for that. I’d rather check out my surroundings. Mostly, if honesty overtakes me, I prefer to watch people. Closely. Some would call it staring. But that sounds too passive to me. I go over them like an eagle casing the river below, looking for movement beneath the surface. Trying at times to understand the substructure of cheek bones, jaw muscles, the coordination of a hand’s architecture as it returns coffee cup to saucer then glides to flip the page of a book. But I also watch, as if, like the eagle’s penetrating glare beneath the waves, I can sense a current of thought. Knit brows, pinching lips, the coordinated grip of the masseter and temporalis muscles setting molars firmly into their opposing cousins. Frustration? Displeasure? Disapproval? Disgust? And will my drawings capture a fleeting moment of unguarded commentary, which, if elusive to presumptuous certainty, feels as though I’m now driving the streets of that someone’s neighborhood.
I sauntered to my recently favored cafe to find an interesting looking gent, with long uncoiling ringlets of Grey hair, seated curbside at a table, both hands occupied, one with coffee, the other with cellphone. I seated myself at an adjacent table such that we were facing each other, if obliquely. He no sooner placed his cup, empty, upon the table than the waitress appeared from within the shop and replaced the depleted cup with a full one. ‘Keep ‘em coming?’ she asked. ‘Keep ‘em coming’, he said. She turned directly to me, and asked my pleasure as I pulled sketchbook and pens from my satchel. Hot cocoa, bitter, no whip.
About then, a bicyclist coming up the street, glided along side the curb, slowed, nearly stopping beside the gent working his second cup, deftly laying an envelop on the table before him, and continued on. No exchange of words, nor looks. No nod. As I opened my sketchbook to a fresh page with little fanfare, the envelope slid into his jacket in like fashion with the hand returning to cradle the cup. His heavy lidded eyes never wandered from the cell’s screen.
I had payed little attention to the parking meter directly behind him, but as I began laying in the preliminary lines of his head, torso, the table and meter, I was amused to see the words PAY HERE backing his right arm. The very arm which had retrieved the envelope as if an extension of the meter.”

Drawn with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and fountain pen on Stillman & Birn Beta Series sketchbook.

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