I know I’ve tried really hard to get recognized for my work. I’ve tried for a long time now to make my work reflect ME. I want people to think of me, think of the passion I pour into my art…I want them to see the intricacies, the details. I want them to admire my even brush strokes, my thousand discarded attempts before I create my masterpiece. I want them to collect those attempts, journal my adventure, and tell me I have potential to be great. I want to be recognized as a genius, even though all I’ve really done is paint what I see.
But it’s never good enough. They never see it for being the brave and life-consuming effort that my paintings truly are. They look at them, puzzle over them for half a second, scoff and walk away.
I’m not just another lunatic.
My paintings have meaning, they sketch out the ordered chaos of the life I have experienced and visualized around me. How can they look away so quickly? Are they scared of what they might discover about themselves when they look at my work? Do they think they’ll get so lost in the swirling spectrums of colors that I map out for them?
Why do they disregard me? My art. Why am i still trying to please them? Why am I sitting here, dirt poor on the corner of a park right now, garnering dirty stares from the women that cross me. You know, when they subtly cross over so that they stand between me and their child, I can’t help but want to cry out to them, “I was an innocent child too. I had a loving mother too. But now nobody understands me and they call me crazy.” But out here, on the street, trying to communicate your life story in any way is simply unallowed. It is devastating to one’s ego, this life of mine. The stares I get from them. Sometimes, I just want to kill them.
Once, I stuck my leg out when a woman gave me this vile look. She tripped and broke her nose on the cement. When she got up to call 911 and began yelling horrible obscenities at me, I watched the swirls that her blood had left on the ground. There was a beautiful design there, and I didn’t have a phone or camera to capture it on. But I wanted it, I wanted it so badly. So I tore off my shirt and slapped it against the blood, hoping I would lift the pattern onto it. If only I could duplicate it….it was perfect. The blood changed directions at just the right instant, and the mini-maze it had encapsulated in the little space was breathtakingly brilliant. See, I recognized brilliance, I didn’t scoff at it and then walk away.
And then they picked me up and threw me into the back of a police car and while they dragged me away, my shirt fell out of my grasp. I tried to tell them I just wanted it for the pattern but they wouldn’t listen. They told me I was crazy, I was going to be hospitalized. They yelled at me to put my hands up or else they would shoot me and the entire time, I just kept lunging and lunging for my shirt.
That’s all I wanted and they took me away. Took away my art just as they disregarded my life.