convicted of stealing my heart
Around the room everyone is scribbling, trying to get the angle of her stance, the shape of her jaw, and the lines of her curves in charcoal, pencil or pastel.
I sketch like an amateur, slowly learning to manage portions and capture her body shape on my paper. Beside me my friend sketches elegantly, flawlessly, while I allow myself to learn.
We draw for three hours and I learn to love every curve on this woman's body. She is voluptuous, imperfect, and beautiful in every way. I find myself wishing she were larger and had more rolls so I could draw more folds.
After life drawing class my artist friend and I run through the rain to a sushi restaurant. Sick and congested we indulge in fish, rice, soup, plenty of throat burning wasabi and half a pitcher of house wine.
We only leave when the restaurant is closing, and run further in the rain, up to a smoky bar packed with emo kids and punk rockers to yell over the music and carry on our conversation.
Early in the morning we're still talking on his sofa when I get an email. It turns out that Donald Crowdis, the 93-year-old blogger I've been fighting to interview, wants to meet with me at noon.
Beyond my excitement I realize this will allow me two hours of sleep before I run home to shower and trek out to the middle of nowhere for our interview.
The dreamer in me pulls through, takes the subway as far out as I can, jumps in a cab, and I arrive early at his country club looking polished, regardless of my tired eyes.
Crowdis walks right past me and into the dining room. I sit and watch him before checking with the woman at the front desk that he's the right man. He's small and curious looking, and has reserved us a small table by the window.
Over lunch Crowdis tells me to order whatever I want, and that lunch is on him. He orders a small starter soup, and then a large fluffy pink piece of cheesecake. "Well isn't this decadent!" He exclaims before sliding his fork in.
Between pink mouthfuls Crowdis tells me about the stars in the Milky Way, about evolution, about surviving the Halifax explosion, about being the original host of the Nature of Things and how David Suzuki is a miserable little twerp.
He slides over his cake to me before finishing and lets me have the last few bites. When his son in law comes to get him he tells him we're not done. I feel like he wants to stay and hang out with me, and the feeling is mutual. He tells me he'd love to buy me lunch again sometime, and I feel my heart grow for a man more than four times my age and half my height.
I learnt a lot over that lunch. Crowdis is a man full of wisdown and experience. And regardless of all the media attention he's had lately, he doesn't believe in doing anything for glory. "If you do something for glory, the glory soon fades and then you're just some old idiot," he tells me, his eyes laughing.
I left with a list of books I must read, my interview accomplished, and a new friend.
Sometimes I love the places life takes me.
*I will post the final profile on Crowdis when it is finished, in the meantime keep up with his witty blog!