To have called the model “queer”, it would’ve been impolite, as it was far too correct. What was referred to as “his ankle” or “her face” simply became “the legs”, “the chest”.
The instructor walks around the overcrowded classroom. He is one of the tallest people I’ve seen in the city. The classroom- or studio- would be around two and a half by four if he were the measuring unit. I like to watch him move about. He has that daddy-long-legged, I’m-a-spider-but-harmless-sort of a presence. It helps me paint comfortably. Do whatever. Forget I’m going to be graded, and if I am, who cares.
The instructor stands side by side with the model. I call the model “he”, because I believe a person presents oneself in way one most wants to be perceived through the face, and he has a beard. He is wearing a royal blue kimono. The tacky stuff you can get at Chinatown. Whether he chose the attire while he was a she or when he became he, I do not know. When he undresses what I am most bewildered by is not the breast, nor the roundness of thighs- but the hair. Short and coarse at the chest. Long and supple to cover the crevice of his vulva, which I’ve been sitting right under to get an overwhelming sort of view. From my view on the floor, he looks like he could be Willem de Kooning’s creation, save the vulnerability of his face. The beard doesn’t cover the fact he has apple cheeks and a birdlike air about him.
While S was in Taiwan, people would comment that he “looked like Jesus” to which he’d answer “Jesus wasn’t white.”
You know, I tell him as we walk from King Street to school. I bet there are people who fetishize religious figures.
Are you one of them, he asks.
I squeeze his hand.
I debated uploading my thesis pieces* here, but finally decided against it. Firstly because of technical issues, and secondly because I was beginning to fall sorely out of love with the project after uploading and re-uploading the images on my website. I cannot divorce the project quite yet, and at this point, it is better for both of us that I see it less often with less scrutiny. Distance can do wonders with some relationships…
Until my head settles on the next project, I’ll be uploading random drawings and paintings and whatever else.
*If you are reading this and would like to know which images I am talking about- come here!
This is the fifth blog I now have opened. The internet is generous. My room, at a cost I think is ridiculous, grants me a space crammed with a single bed, a tiny closet, and a desk, but here I can feign all the riches I want, for free.
Graduation means I can no longer call myself a student. I have finished something- and this feels uncomfortable. Completion comes with responsibilities and I am always looking to stall any of that… I don’t like how “illustrator” wears on me as an entitlement either. “I am an illustrator.” I don’t know. If something sounds bad out loud, there’s something surely wrong in it, and every time I say that sentence, ugh.
Signal “four” with the right hand, and skip it left to right thrice from the face. That signals “immigrant”. I am an immigrant. That is what I will call myself, for now. Just a little bit, until I get used to the fact that I’m not a student anymore. Until I think I somewhat deserve the title “illustrator”.
Still, it is nice that one thing is over. It is nice… that I can now make appointments for the piano room and smell all the newly released perfumes and buy flowers and paint things I want to paint… I need to make use of S’ long hair before he chops them off. He sleeps much nowadays and stays still in the weirdest poses… And maybe I can try my hands into clay. If I am lucky, maybe I will find means to save up for a bicycle and a cello. And maybe, if I am lucky, I will be happy.
I wonder, will anyone be reading this? The longer the text one writes, the more it is ignored nowadays, and sometimes this works in my favor, while in other occasions, it doesn’t. I shall see.