Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Learning to Draw: Concrete Abstract

I’d never noticed the yin-yang of the Safeway sign before. And how many times had I stepped over, without examining, the concrete painted yellow that marked the outer limits of the parking lot. These limits had been built in 1956 (I’m guessing). Now Safeway wants to remodel, i.e. take over the whole strip mall and knock down houses to the south. This matters if time matters. The concrete looks as if it hasn’t taken paint since ’58, or the paint has been beaten out of it, or yellow snuck away in bits one spring fifty years ago and every spring since. Therefore, if I were to draw the concrete I’d have done my bit for preservation and could head down to the FreeHouse for a beer.

Just then a ’53 Chevy painted bright mauve drove by. I glimpsed the passenger—a woman, short hair, those sunglasses seniors wear (top of the list of “things my kids must never let me do”).

According to the photo mounted above a booth at the Mercury Cafe, across the street from the Safeway, the parking lot in its early days held many a Chevy and Ford and Dodge, though none of them bright mauve.

Page 43 of some book might say It’s not about subject, it’s about commitment. Sure, but there I’d be, face to face with old concrete that will soon—I think it’s right to say—be knocked away.

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