Thursday, January 23, 2020

Rose :: Personal Narrative Drawing Art Papers

Rose I am accustomed, now, to being in a room with seven men who are drawing my pubic hair. I have been on the other side of the drawing board, and I know that bodies are reduced to shape, distance, and shadow: hold up the pencil. This is how far the nipple is from the armpit. Squint. It is not even a nipple anymore, not to them, though my nipple has not changed any since I took off my clothing. The first time I posed naked in the basement of the man whose ad I answered there were only two artists. The host would grimace and then relax his face in quick succession like a broken smile doll while he sketched. The other rubbed my shoulders over the thick blue robe during a break. The music was incredible: blues, and old music from 1940's Japan. Bad luck for the band, my host comments, because then Hiroshima happened. I found something to focus on so my body would hold still and steady. One time it was a finished drawing. Something about the light on the woman's breast made it look like the shape bread dough takes before rising. When I arrived I asked for the bathroom. Perhaps because I come from a place where basements and attics are rare I love them, and his basement smelled pleasant and damp, pastel and cardboard everywhere, with a cat who wound round the artist's legs. But the kitchen and bathroom betrayed the smell of the five cats who live there total. I have five cats also, but they spend their time outside accruing foxtails. The wife had headphones on and didn't look at me as she hurried into the car he had taken to pick me up from campus. He spoke to her as if he didn't know she had tuned him out. I stood bare under the hot lamp unsure of whether I was welcome, holding onto the curtain so my arm would catch the light, staring into the face of the clock until it became an object representative of nothing important, bread, an elbow, skin, scattered records. I do not know why there are no women in this group. I wonder sometimes if I would feel differently about shedding my clothing for a woman. I do no t think I would; though I am using my naked body in a way a man dictates, I have sanctioned this and am making forty dollars in three hours.

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