I’m thrashing in an ocean of incomplete ideas, discarded stories, evolving characters, and unfinished illustrations. And instead of working with the chaos, I hide here. Behind a computer screen. Where the hope of completing something, even something as insignificant as a blog post, seems possible.
Where was I going with this? Am I just complaining? Distracting myself? Using this frustration as an impetus to write?
I wonder if while slowly chipping away at the marble, Michelangelo ever wanted to smash David into powder. I wonder if Shel Silverstein ever considered quitting. I wonder what the Little Prince would do.
He’d probably ask me to draw him a turnip, or some goddamned thing. Then I’d have to grab him by his little lapels and shout:
“Listen here, you little prince. I know you can just fly around all day and visit planets and smell flowers, but some of us have real work to do!”
“Is your job to be angry?” he’d ask. “You’re very good at it.”
Then I’d feel silly and set him down and say “No, little prince, my job is not to be angry. I make stories and draw them.”
“Yes, but what is your job? You said you had work to do.”
“That is my job.”
“Oh, what an awful job!” he’d say. “I like to tell stories and draw sheep, but I hate jobs!”
“Yeah.” I’d say.
“Want to see me draw a turnip?”
“Yeah.” I’d say.
My brother is 14 years old and lives with my mother and stepdad in California. Despite the large age difference, we were really close growing up. But since I’ve moved out we’ve grown apart, and now each time we make acquaintance I’m amazed at how much he’s changed, and a little ashamed that I’m not around to be a part of it. If I recall correctly, being a teenager kinda sucks, and I want to help if I can. I want to be a good brother.
This summer I had written him while I was on a farm in Oregon, and with the letter I had included my copy of The Little Prince. Not only is it a must-read for everybody, but I figured if he has any artistic or literary aspirations, I might be able to help guide him down this path.
Today a package arrived with the returned book and a wonderful three page letter. Turns out he doesn’t like school (except electrical class), enjoys skateboarding and playing guitar, and hasn’t had a girlfriend in a whole 4 months! (he said he’s taking my advice from last time we met: he’s going for quality, not quantity! haha!) About The Little Prince, he had only this to say:
“I loved that book. It was kind of random, but I still liked it.”
He cracks me up.
I remember, as a young child, he would love playing with legos, building elaborate robots and such. Now it turns out he likes electrical class… hmmm… sounds like a theme is developing. I wonder what I can do to help him discover himself?
Haha! My mom just called, and when I told her I received my brothers package she said:
“Yes, wasn’t his letter wonderful? He never does anything like that – you really inspired him. Of course we still hear stories about the times you babysit and chased him around the house with a butcher knife. And we all remember when you got him drunk when he was 4 years old… Now that you’re older, will you please inspire him for the good?”
In case you’re just tuning in, my name is Dallion and I’m 27 years old. A few years ago I quit my comfy job in Los Angeles and moved to Austin, TX to become a famous painter. Ridiculous right? Since then it has become apparent I’d make a better filthy rich children’s book author/illustrator instead. I’ve found my passion and want to be good at what I do. Real good.
So I have a long way to go.
I park cars in the meantime. Valet for a fancy restaurant downtown. I bring folks’ cars with a smile. A sincere one too. And even though I sometimes write in short sentences, I’m not bitter. There’s no reason to be bitter. Life is too short. At times I look upon my job with a certain romantic fondness. Like the other night. It was cold, rainy, no business, making $6 an hour, standing there for countless lonely hours, with only my sketchbook and stories to keep me warm. Sometimes it seems degrading being a pair of legs for some rich guy who doesn’t even tip, and sometimes I wonder if I won’t look back on these years as the best of my life.
So this is my story. The one about the underdog who diligently works on his craft while scraping out a living and enjoying the simple things in life. Eventually he becomes the best at what he does. Not very original, but it’s a feel good story, and who doesn’t like a feel good story?