He sits across from me, thin, his hair a mass of silver laced dark curls. His demeanor is stiff, closed off from all around him, as he seems to have effectively shut out the world, the same one, I suspect, he attempts to capture on his drawing pad with pens of black, red, and blue.
A little girl, maybe two, in the "Hello" stage of her development, wanders into his periphery and for a moment he is snapped out of his world and back into ours. His head snaps up.
"Can you take care of you kid?" he asks the child's mother, brusquely.
I look up and realize she is in my space, not his. She says "Hello" to me, wiggling gleefully in place. She makes me laugh. She is innocence and promise and sweetness all rolled up in Pampers. Her mother comes to get her and I tell her that her daughter is a cutie. The artist doesn't seem to notice. He is back in his world of pens and cross hatched lines and he has shut us out of his world once again.