They shared an art studio. Or to be accurate, it was Joshua’s art studio, and he had a corner of the empty classroom. In it, he watched Josh sketch effortlessly, these mythical creatures consuming Coca-Colas and Big Macs as if they were ordinary citizens of the urban landscape. They clasped their French fries with tentacles or held them aloft with antlers.
It was a marvel to watch him at work. And yet, in every class, he floundered. He was no natural born artist capable of conjuring worlds from the nib of his pencil. Rather, he hid behind the abstract inducing charcoal which defied specificity. There was to be no rendering of muscled arms with bulging veins.
Tracey would often be there, posing for what would be a series of nude drawings that would almost get Josh expelled. He stole one and used it to masterbate to. It was thrilling to see the heft of her breasts and imagined circling his finger over the shape, which reminded him of the Opera House.
Late one night, he helped Joshua write his manifesto, defending the drawings. It was his words that gave Joshua’s passion form, and for the first time, he felt like he was actually drawing with a pencil.
Those words saved Joshua. He promised to destroy the drawings. Outside the principal’s office, Joshua embraced him. He whispered that the stolen drawing would be payment for his words.