Continued from: With Drawn: Part 11 — A Question of Murals
Jacob was lying on his stomach, sprawled out on his bed. He was drawing in his new sketchpad. His mother had bought him a new sketchpad after Tommy Rogers had tried to flush his old sketchpad down a toilet. Jacob was using a pencil that was at least six inches long and had a pristine pink nub of an eraser on its end. Jacob always used pencils that were at least six inches long. If a pencil was shorter than that, it became difficult to twirl the pencil in his fingers. And as for the eraser, Jacob hated dirty erasers. This may be a problem for most people to draw without ever having to correct something by using the eraser, but Jacob never made mistakes in his drawings. He never made a faulty line or faulty shading. In fact, at times, when John Berkley would watch Jacob draw, he’d see Jacob add a line or a design to the drawing and John would think to himself, Why did he do that? He ruined it. And then Jacob would reveal his intent for the line or design, and John would wonder how the drawing could ever exist without it.
At this moment, lying on his bed, Jacob was working on a perfect rendition of Amanda Lansing. In the drawing, the school psychologist was lying nude on satin sheets.
Jacob stopped drawing and he twirled the pencil in his fingers. The pencil was seven inches long, by the way. Jacob stared at the drawing in the same manner he had stared at the drawing of the warrior that had moved. Jacob stared at this drawing in that focused-unfocused Magic Wallpaper-way in the hopes that he could get this drawing of Amanda Lansing to move as well. And that’s when the pencil-drawn portrait of Amanda Lansing shifted slightly. Amanda’s light, graphite eyes looking up and out of the drawing, gazing now at Jacob. Then Amanda winked and she blew Jacob a kiss.
Jacob smiled, and he looked at the drawing even more intently.
Amanda’s mouth began moving as if she was speaking. But Jacob could not hear what the drawing was saying to him. So Jacob said, “What’s that, Ms. Lansing?”
Amanda stopped a moment, seeming to realize now that Jacob could not hear her. How could he? She was a drawing, after all. And then she mouthed out these words: I love you, Jacob.
Jacob said to the drawing, “I love you, too, Ms. Lansing.”
Of course Jacob didn’t actually love Amanda Lansing. Jacob was merely having a physiological response to Amanda’s beauty. Jacob had hit puberty. This meant that his body was becoming an adult. Part of this entails his body’s sudden urges to procreate, and Jacob’s adolescent mind, having recognized the genetic superiority of Ms. Lansing’s good looks, wanted to procreate with her. This desire manifested itself in very strong physical and mental ways within his body. He thought about Ms. Lansing often, and he felt a slight dizziness and euphoria when he was around her. At times, he even felt nauseated around her.
Some people describe this nausea as having butterflies in one’s belly. So if anyone says this phrase to you, know that he or she has not recently dined on winged insects, but rather, he or she has had a fluttering feeling in his or her gut brought on by nerves.
Another physical manifestation of Jacob’s desire to procreate with Ms. Lansing was a rush of blood to his penis. This rush of blood makes the penis hard and is called an erection. It is impossible to procreate without an erection. Boys of Jacob’s age call an erection a “boner” because what was once flaccid and fleshy becomes the hardness and consistency of bone. While Jacob looked down at the drawing of Amanda Lansing, he was getting a boner.
The drawing of Amanda was speaking again. And again, Jacob could not make out what she was saying. Jacob bent closer to the sheet of paper, but still, he heard no sound from her.
Now, while Jacob was focusing on his drawing, there was a sound to which he should have been paying attention. He should have been hearing his mother calling up to him. It was Tuesday night, and Jacob was supposed to put the trash out on Tuesday nights.
Because Jacob didn’t respond to his mother, she knocked on his door and then entered his bedroom.
Jacob jumped off his bed in surprise, and then he scurried to try and hide the erection that was now pushing out the front of his pants.
Boys Jacob’s age call this bulging in the crotch of one’s pants a “tent post.” This is because of its similarity in appearance to the central pole pitching up a tent. Jacob sometimes got a tent post in the middle of a class. Most adolescent boys get them during a class. A tent post for a young man can be as sudden and unpredictable as a lightning strike, but Jacob, like most boys, thought that it was something that only happened to him. This was why Jacob never went to the front of the class to work on the board or give presentations for fear of a sudden boner-strike. Well, that and the fact that he was always drawing in his sketchpad.
When Jacob’s mother walked into the room, she had yet to notice the drawing on his bed or the tent post in her son’s pants, and she was saying, “Hey there, kiddo. You okay up here? I was calling you and…”
But then Joanne stopped because she noticed her son struggling to hide his erection. Joanne realized what her son was trying to do, noticing the bulge in his pants, and she looked away, embarrassed.
Anything to do with a person’s body below the waist and above the thighs generally embarrasses people. That embarrassment is compounded when noticed by a boy’s mother.
Anyway, when Joanne turned away from her son, she saw the drawing on the sketchpad on the bed. Joanne didn’t at first notice who the drawing was of, only that it was a nude drawing of a woman, and she scolded her son by saying, “Jacob, you know you can’t draw things like…” But then she stopped what she was saying because at that moment, she did recognize the nude figure in the drawing on her son’s bed. Joanne darted forward and snatched the sketchpad from the bed.
Jacob said, “Mom, no, that’s mine.” Jacob tried to retrieve the drawing, but Joanne whisked it out of his reach.
Jacob didn’t try and get the sketchpad again. His mother would not give it to him. And like it or not, his mother controlled the sketchpads.
Joanne’s eyes narrowed as she studied the drawing more closely, Joanne saying to her son, “Is that…? This looks like… Is this Ms. Lansing?”
“Mom, that’s mine, give that back,” Jacob said, although he knew he would not get the sketchpad back.
Joanne said to her son, “How did you…? How did you draw such an accurate picture of her? She didn’t… She didn’t pose for this, did she?”
The reason for the pauses in her statement is that Joanne was having difficulty formulating the right questions to ask her son in her mind. Her mind was racing as she thought about the possible scenarios of how her son obtained knowledge of Amanda Lansing’s anatomy.
Jacob said, “No. I drew it from memory.”
“Memory? Memory of what? You’ve seen Ms. Lansing naked?”
“Memory of her face.”
“And what about the body?”
“The body is from a picture of Marilyn Monroe.”
Jacob was referring to a very famous photograph of a very famous movie star. Jacob had seen the picture once online. There was a humorous story that went with the picture. The story was that the girl—her name was Norma Jean Baker at the time, but she would be known as Marilyn Monroe when she was famous—said that she posed for the picture with “nothing on but the radio.” Back in 1949, when the picture was taken, it was considered scandalous to pose in the nude. Now people do it all the time. There’s a quote by an artist named Andy Warhol. The quote is that “everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” Nowadays, one could say that everyone will be seen naked for fifteen minutes. Both Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe were misunderstood by people, just like Jacob was misunderstood by people. Andy Warhol became famous for being misunderstood. Marilyn Monroe, on the other hand, killed herself because of it.
Joanne said to her son, “I don’t want you drawing this type of thing.”
“Okay,” Jacob said.
“I mean it. If I catch you drawing this type of thing again, I’ll take away your drawing privileges.”
Jacob said, “I should be able to draw what I want.”
“Well you can’t draw what you want. Not as long as you’re under this roof. Got it?”
Joanne ripped the sketch of Amanda from the sketchpad.
“Mom, no, that’s…”
Joanne turned and looked at her son. The expression on her face said that Jacob was not to argue any more, but realizing that Jacob had a hard time reading faces, she held up her hand in a halting manner. So Jacob halted. And Joanne left the room.
Continued in: With Drawn: Part 13 — Masticated Tots