Perhaps an Artist
He didn’t like any of them.
Perhaps he didn’t like anyone.
Perhaps he didn’t even like himself although he wasn’t sure of the latter which was not strange as normally, he was not sure of anything.
He did like things though.
Not in a greedy possessive fashion. Rather, in the way an artist appreciates something he may someday seek to reflectively preserve. Sometimes, perhaps even frequently, the objects were his but at other times they were merely things he encountered and at times, things he thought he imagined, although they may have been memories leaking in from the past, or the future, or from someone else’s life.
Sometimes he imagined that he was an artist, or perhaps just someone with the soul of an artist: a painter, or a writer, a poet perhaps, or a musician, or all of them, sequentially or simultaneously. He was happy when that happened, at least until he wondered whether being an artist required that others recognize that as a reality. Of course, that recognition did not have to take place while he was alive. History, as he understood it, indicated clearly that the best artists were frequently ignored during their lifetimes, recognized only after they’d been discovered by investors, and then by critics employed by investors, and then placed under the guardianship of collectors, and then written about by biographers and finally, discovered by the popular press.
Other people enjoyed cinema but he enjoyed dreams, wondering as he lay down to sleep what that night’s entertainments might bring, hoping he’d remember when he woke. Not all of his dreams took place while he slept however. Sometimes he managed and controlled them while in a semi meditative state while at other times the dreams seemed to leak in from someone else’s life.
He had few friends, perhaps even none although people seemed to like him. Few if any people really knew him though. He lived within himself, trying to discover who he was and why, and moved mechanically through a complex life, somehow succeeding or at least thriving in the verisimilitude of apparent success.
He sometimes considered that life served only as a depository of experiences he might use as inspirations for his anticipated works of art. Consequently, whether experiences were good or bad, depressing or delightful mattered much less than that they be sufficiently vivid to craft into memories others might share and perhaps, if he were really an artist, that others might feel. At other times however, he merely coasted, as though on automatic pilot, not really feeling anything at all.
Sometimes he wondered if he were a god lost in his dreams, perhaps in self-imposed exile from divinity seeking to experience the reality he’d created. But at other times we wondered if he were merely a slumbering plant’s dream.
Perhaps that of a very disturbed plant.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2016; all rights reserved