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.