Portrait of the artist as a young man (?)
On a summer morning in 1976, a father booked reservations to take a sailboat cruise with two of his sons. The cruise would originate from Hilton Head Island’s Harbor Town. Left behind, however, was a third child, a five-year old deemed too young for the South Carolinian seas. That child was heartbroken. Nothing could appease his disappointment. He was convinced he would never feel the wind rush through his hair, the sea spray in his face, the sway of the deck beneath his legs. Most importantly he had to stay back while his stupid brothers got to go on a stupid sailboat on the stupid ocean. Everything was stupid. And bad.
The father, sensing his third son’s indignation, offered compensation: a brand new box of Crayola 64. This was big. Huge. So big that the third son might have been fully appeased, but the father, having studied the science of negotiation, knew when to press his advantage. He offered to teach his son how to draw a lighthouse. The son, already fully satisfied with his treasure trove of hued wax, now realized he had won the deal. His stupid brothers were losers and would probably get seasick and wicked sunburns. He on the other hand was an ARTIST. Lighthouses? Oh he would not stop at that. He would draw boats, seagulls, and oceans and shit.
By fall of that year, he had drawn enough lighthouses to turn every rocky night shore into a sunny harbor and still he drew. He colored till his fingers bled red…and Crimson…and Maroon, Teal, Sienna, Forest Green, Orange-Red, Red-Orange, Navy Blue, Royal Blue, Sky Blue, and of course, Olive. He entered 1st grade, intending to be a conqueror. Dreams of fame in 64 brilliant colors filled his head. He would start with an exhibition. And contests. He would win the Allen Elementary School 1st grade drawing contest, crushing his competition into a vibrant, colorful oblivion. All this would be done without breaking a sweat or the wrapper on the Violet crayon.
And as he savored his victory, he stood triumphantly in front of his creation. He gladly soaked up the adoration of his fans, even his clothing reflecting his love of color, his artistic joie de vivre, and yes, his highly refined fashion sense. Haute couture at the age of 6.
Textiles. Colors. Patterns. These were all mere parts of my, er, um...HIS sartorial palette, the whole being so much greater than the sum of the arts [sic].
Observe. And marvel.
Too much for you to take in? Please, allow me to annotate.
Just like Ozymandias, I stand commanding you to look upon my sweet sweet threads.
And people wonder why I developed Depression…