Pop. Six. Squish. Cicero. Lipschitz.
“Write about how you’d think it would feel falling for an artist,” he said.
Immediately I think of the artist who ain’t shit. Who finds theirself in multiple others, who cannot be tied down. I think of the artist as an anarchist, activist, revolutionary sprung to life from “Eyes of Zapata”, leaving hurt souls and broken hearts in their glorious wake. That would be the wrong kind of falling.
“You’ve been involved with too many drug dealers,” he told me. “It’s your type.”
“No, it isn’t,” I told him. “It’s not something I want, or look for. It’s just happened.”
“But you still don’t smoke,” he continued later. “You’re almost against it, and I don’t understand how.”
I explain about Edward, leaving William out. And I explain hide-and-seek depression, and not wanting to rely on a substance to get me through life. He understands a bit.
“It just seems, dangerous,” I say, “To be away from reality for so long.”
For the poetry unit, we have a slam. All the teachers perform. I bring my friend, a poet, to perform as a guest. Their words are transformative. Through inflection and imagery, an exile from family becomes an exodus; a stint of homelessness an adventure through another dimension. Another teacher conjures spirits and mystics from a funeral. The threads of so many basic concepts are spun into beauty, so that you forget where you are and what is happening. Black artists are magicians who turn sorrow and torment into ornaments and experiences coveted by those who don’t know better.
If reality was a desert, I imagine stumbling through it and falling for an artist as an oasis. Discovering someone who blows the sand into beautiful glass and makes us forget our thirst. Together, we’d make a completely new experience for ourselves, retreating into our shared consciousness, weaving stories and imagery around us to survive the elements.
The only danger is that we’d still be thirsty, even if we didn’t think about it. The elements would still be there, even if we didn’t pay attention to them.
It might not be wise.
But I guess falling for anyone isn’t always the wisest thing to do in the first place.