Where do you live? On the periphery. What is it like? Well, as someone says - I think the young Saroyan - all of the chairs face inward. Still, there are windows. And through them - ? An endless table with an endless feast, like something out of Breughel: crowds of men and women elbowing, reaching, tasting, sharing, snatching, their palates eager for the marvelous. When I was young, I knew them; now I watch, half-envious of their appetite, their zest, and try to draw a group, a single figure. No point of contact? Ah, but that's the point! The drawing's truth depends as much on distance as on empathy. I am no more than hand and eye, existing to record, and glimpsed, if glimpsed at all, peripherally.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.