I went to Gus's this morning loaded down with today's Times-Picayune, my checkbook, address labels, stamps and bills. I also had my sketchbook, just in case, the mood swayed me in that direction. I needed to get out away from the responsibilities of home. Somehow, taking some work into a new or different environment helps. But before I could order breakfast, Norma, our beautiful waitress, greeted me by saying that the 18 foot cherry blossom mural, complete with cardinals flying, perched, and feeding, that I painted for her about two or three months ago, was destroyed by hurricane Isaac. The details about tenants of the apartment and their subsequent "faux paus" were sketchy, at least to me, who was and still am recuperating from dental surgery!
I felt bad for her, but I also just felt bad, so.....
I plopped myself down on the furthest table to one side of the diner and proceeded to take care of some business. Breakfast came and was eaten while I read the newspaper. I started to reflect and relax. A friend or two would come by to say hello and then realize, by noticing all the bills and correspondence across from my breakfast debris, that I wanted and needed to be alone.
Forty-five minutes later, with the bills and correspondence completed, and in a nice pile and the debris from breakfast long gone, a good friend came by and sat directly across from my table. I hadn't seen him in months and he had been so helpful to me after hurricane Katrina, I attempted to entertain him. We talked about those times, complained about the power company's late response to the hurricane and then, listened to him expound on the flood prone south, and then...
He continued to talk and talk and actually recruited the lovely Norma, who is not overly vociferous, talking about the state of the nation and the, you know, "me generation." It was about that part of the diatribe that I opened up the sketchbook and skimmed the newspaper for something to draw.
It didn't seem to bother him or slow him down. ( Actually, my feelings were kinda hurt that he didn't ask to see all the wonderful drawings in that sketchbook, but... that's just me being a sensitive artist, ha!)
Copyright 2012/ Ben Bensen III