- Vol. 03
- Chapter 06
I'm an artist. I feel self-conscious saying that these days, because people immediately ask what I do and when I say I can't explain they huff and think I'm some precious high-strung type. It annoys me how fickle language is. I have three and I still can't communicate what I want - need - to say.
Ralph from next door comes round. "Does it annoy you," he inquires, "when white Americans moan about immigration?"
I shrug. I don't talk about this kind of thing.
"You're in a unique position, Indian and from, you know, below the border."
I shrug again. "Many people are. There were two whole continents of Indians before... Well, we weren't Indians then, of course. We had many other words for ourselves."
"What do you think of Don-"
"Do you want something to drink?"
I pour it. The sky's getting darker. Talking about politics drains me so much. At least I can make art from it. But Ralph just sits and sips, then gets up and leaves. It's raining as I stand at the door and watch him go, but it's still light. I used to like this kind of weather.
My feet tell me I should be heading inside but my hands resist them, clutching the doorframe. Another rainy afternoon. Nothing special. Maybe I could capture it somehow, though. I used to capture weather quite well before you came and everything I'd done before felt lame and childish. You made the rest of the work look amateurish. You, you were poetry, you were art.
You look shy in pictures, I don't know why. Maybe it's just a side of you I never saw. I'd dance with you, and I'd feel inadequate as an artist because nothing I did could measure up to our dances. You took me back, back to before I was Indian.
The world we live in has been crazy for a long time. I think we all know that. There's no need to say it. It's not even about one person, or two or three people. It's been brewing for centuries.
I hear footfalls and Ralph is back, looking sheepish. "I wanted to buy an artwork from you."
He comes back in and I lead him up to your room where they all sit in various states of unfinish. "That one," he says, pointing to 'Peace'.
He pays and leaves again, looking happier, more... peaceful, I guess. Figures.
Back on the porch, I sigh. I don't like politics. I like to keep thinking, there must be something more. Surely. Surely there's more to humanity than this.
I sit and watch as the rain lightens and thunder rumbles somewhere far away. Maybe I missed a whole storm because I was thinking of you. Never mind. There'll be more.
Someone once said I was afraid to talk about my art. But it isn't fear. It's just that for some things, even in three languages, there are no words.