With Drawn: Part 11 — A Question of Murals

Jacob's HouseContinued from: With Drawn: Part 10 — Vanishing Points

John and Jacob sat at one of the wooden tables in the art room. The two of them were sketching on sheets of white paper. John was working on another one of his landscape drawings. It was a drawing of a mountain range in the background and a field in the foreground. Jacob’s drawing was of Jacob riding a very large Harley Davidson.

A Harley Davidson is a type of motorcycle, and this particular Harley Davidson had flames shooting out of its exhaust and it was jumping over a long line of school busses. The expression on Jacob’s face in the drawing was stoically blank as he climaxed the stunt. Some might think that this stoicism of Jacob’s expression was due to his concentration. And some might think it was the same expression that Evel Knievel might have had when he jumped over things.

Evel Knievel was what people call a daredevil. He would perform stunts that could have easily killed him. Some might say that he performed these stunts for money or fame, but Jacob figured he did them to prove something. That’s why Jacob would do it, to prove to all the other kids that he could do it. And then they’d all shut up.

By the way, the real reason that Jacob’s expression in the drawing was stoically blank is because he had no idea what expression to put on his face.

John glanced over at Jacob’s drawing. He said, “That’s very cool, Jacob. Your drawings look so real that sometimes I think they’re going to start moving.”

Jacob said to his art teacher, “Sometimes they do.”

“No, they don’t sometimes look like that,” John said, “Your drawings look like that most of the time.”

Jacob’s teacher had misunderstood Jacob’s statement. When Jacob said, sometimes they do, John thought Jacob meant that only sometimes his drawings look like they could move. But what Jacob meant was that his drawings sometimes actually did move.

Jacob tried to clarify this misunderstanding by saying, “No. I mean sometimes they do move.”

John chuckled at this statement. He did not realize that Jacob was being literal. John said, “That would be very cool if they could.”

Jacob was going to clarify this misunderstanding again, but instead, he just shrugged and continued shading in the flames coming from the Harley Davidson’s exhaust.

John said, “Do you always put yourself into your drawings, Jacob? The mouse had your face the last time we drew together, and now you’re on the bike here.”

Jacob said, “No, I only sometimes put myself in my drawings.”

For the record, the warrior in the drawing with the dragon—the drawing that was torn into strips and now floating in a sewer pipe—that warrior was Jacob, too. Although no one but Jacob would know that because the helmet hid his face. And, of course, Jacob added much more muscle and bulk to his drawn physique than he actually had in real life.

Jacob said, “Sometimes I wish I could actually go into my drawings for real.”

John was adding a herd of buffalo to the field in his landscape drawing, and he said, “Yeah, I wish I could do that, too.”

“Why can’t we?”

“Well, I suppose the laws of physics and reality would have something to say about it. But I’ll tell you, Jacob, if I thought anyone could pull it off, it would be you.”

Jacob continued to add detail to his drawing.

John said, “Have you ever thought about doing a mural?”

“A mural?”

“Yeah. If you did a big enough mural then I suppose that would be like getting into a drawing. You could do life-size paintings on a wall like Diego Rivera or David Siqueiros.”

“Diego Rivera and David…?”

“Siqueiros. They were famous mural painters. They kept getting into trouble for putting their political views into their murals. People thought they were stirring up trouble.”

Jacob said, “People think that I stir up trouble.”

“Yeah, I know they do. But I think that’s because they don’t understand you, Jacob. People misunderstand the way that you express yourself.”

“No one’s ever understood me,” Jacob said. “Except for my dad,” he added.

John said, “Well, what if you were to find a way to express yourself in a way that isn’t going to stir up so much trouble?”

“Like how?”

“How about a mural?”

“Like what kind of mural?”

“How about a sports mural in the gymnasium? It could be a mural depicting school spirit and team pride, or something along that vein.”

Jacob said, “I don’t care about sports, and I don’t know anything about them.”

John shrugged and smiled, John saying, “Maybe it’s because you don’t take the time to know about what other people enjoy, like sports, that they don’t take the time to know about you and what you care about. A lot of students here do like sports. Maybe if you make the effort to understand them, then they will want to take the time to understand you.”

Jacob stopped drawing and cocked his head for a moment. What John thought Jacob was doing was taking a moment to consider the suggestion John had made, and for a moment, John thought that maybe he had really gotten through to the boy. But then John heard the staccato rhythm of high heels coming down the hallway outside the art room. Jacob’s attention suddenly shifted to the classroom’s open door. The staccato rhythm grew louder until Amanda Lansing could be seen passing by the open art room door. As she passed, Amanda glanced into the art room, and then the staccato rhythm of her heels stopped, and Amanda came back to the open doorway. Amanda walked into the room, Amanda saying to Jacob and John, “Well, hey there, guys. What’s up?”

John said to Amanda, “Good afternoon, Ms. Lansing.”

Jacob didn’t say anything.

Amanda walked over to the wooden table at which John and Jacob sat, and she regarded the drawings on which John and Jacob were working. Amanda smiled in a way that was both sensual and innocent, and she said to Jacob, “Wow, cool Harley, man. Do you like motorcycles, Jacob?”

Jacob shrugged, not looking at Ms. Lansing.

Amanda said, “Well, I love motorcycles. I’d love to jump on the back of a Harley and go for a spin. If you ever get one, Jacob, you’ll definitely have to take me for a ride. Deal?”

Jacob nodded, still not looking at Ms. Lansing.

Amanda said, “Super cool. All right, guys, I gotta run. Talk to you fellas later.” Amanda turned with a flick of her blond hair and she walked out of the classroom, the staccato sound of her high heels following her from the room and fading off down the hallway.

Jacob sat in silence for a moment. He was looking down at his drawing, but not working on it.

John said to Jacob, “You look a little shaken up, there.”

Jacob shrugged and then began working on his drawing again.

What John meant by saying that Jacob looked shaken up was that Jacob seemed to have something on his mind, specifically, Amanda Lansing. John did not think that Jacob was picked up and physically shaken. That would be hard to do.

John smiled and nodded toward the art room door, John saying, “I think that maybe Ms. Lansing threw you for a loop.”

Again, this is a figure of speech. It would be very hard to throw Jacob in way in which he traveled in a loop, or otherwise.

Jacob looked up at John and then he looked away again, Jacob asking his teacher, “Do you like her?”

John said, “Like her?”

Jacob said, not looking at his teacher, “Yeah, you know, like her.”

John said, “I think that Ms. Lansing is a very nice person, but she’s not really my type.”

Jacob said, “I agree.”

John chuckled, “You do, huh?”

John was actually a little disappointed in Jacob’s response. He was tempted for a moment to ask Jacob why he thought that Amanda was not his type. This is because, although John said that Amanda was not his type, he was being untruthful. He was just trying to make himself feel better because Amanda had turned him down when he asked her out. Amanda Lansing was every man’s type.

Then Jacob said something that very much surprised John. Jacob said, “I think you’d be better with my mom.”

John chuckled again and said, “I don’t think your stepfather would appreciate that very much.”

“He’s not my stepfather.”

“Well, then I don’t think Dennis would appreciate that very much.”

“Well I don’t appreciate Dennis very much.”

John said, “Well, I still don’t think it would be a very good idea.”

Jacob began working on his drawing again, Jacob saying, “I think it’s a very good idea.”

Continued in: With Drawn: Part 12 — Nothing on but the Radio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>