Seek A Second Opinion
Soooooo… I had a doctor’s appointment this morning, and in all honesty, my doctor is an awesomely wonderful man and doctor. He knows me like the back of his hand, and if I’m not mistaken, I’ve been his patient for nearly two decades. The one drawback to being his patient is the wait in the waiting room and another wait once you get settled into a patient room. It’s a guaranteed 1.5 hour wait. Today it was 2 hours before I saw him. Knowing this, I always take artwork or at the very least, a sketchbook into his office to get some creativity out. Today was no different. I trot into the office with a tall slender illustration of Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz that I’ve been working on.
Once I use the automated, touch-screen check-in station, I find my way to a comfortable seat next to one of the small side tables, so I have an area to put my materials. Other patients sit reading magazines or watching the odd health “news channel” that plays in a loop giving them health tips and nutritious recipes. I usually lose all sense of surroundings when I start drawing.
As I’m working my way, tracing some areas with a black Sharpie® around a Munchkin’s curly q headdress, I felt a little tap on my right knee.
“I know who dat is,” a little voice said to me. I would say this sweet strawberry-blonde headed girl was no more than four years of age.
“You do?!” I eagerly grin and nudge an answer from her.
“Yep! Dat’s Dor-phee from da Wiz-od ob Oz,” she continues.
This little nugget of a beauty entertained me with the story in her words of the “Wiz-od ob Oz” for some time. She let me know she was scared of “da mean green-face” (which prodded me to ask if she meant the witch or the giant head of the wizard), the monkeys were pretty blue “like dat color” (pointing a screaming cerulean blue on my illustration) but “dey are mean!”
We continued chatting about how beautiful the movie is. Oh, and how it’s only pretend (thank you to her guardian for pointing THAT out.) *head-desk*
As we chattered, I kept working on this illustration.
The little girl’s name was Lillian, named for her Nana who was in heaven now. I told her my baby was named after her Mamaw too. We had the loveliest conversation. Until…
“Can I help you draw?” Lillian asked.
Now mind you, in my early twenties, I would have just about leaped across the room, shoving the drawing under my shirt just to protect it. Now as I enter my forties, I have mellowed greatly. I figure she would learn more about the process and media than ruin anything of mine. Hell, I can draw another one. What’s the big deal? Right?
“Oh nooooo, Lilly. That’s HER drawing.” Her guardian interrupted as I started to hand Lilly a colored pencil.
“Aw, I don’t mind.” I announced.
“No. She needs to understand and respect other’s property.” The guardian snipped at me.
The guardian seemed older than I, so I assumed she wasn’t the Mommy to little Lillian. But I didn’t know if she was necessarily a grandma (since one was in heaven as mentioned) or an aunt, babysitter…what the connection was. I didn’t dare pry—which is why I refer to her as the guardian.
After the snappiness from the guardian, I decided to change the subject.
“What do you want to be when you grow up, Lillian?”
“I’d LIKE to do what you’re doing.” She murmured under her breath.
“You want to be an artist?!” I exclaimed with a big grin.
Before she could start to nod her head or affirm my question, the guardian said “No, she doesn’t want to be an artist,” in the most derogatory tone.
Doing everything I could to keep from smacking the old broad, I then turn back to Lillian and asked, “so what DO YOU want to be when you grow up?”
Again, before she could answer, the guardian bolsters out “Someone who makes money!”
At this point in the volley, I’m sure there was steam coming out of my ears and I had turned a lovely shade of rhodamine red. I gave the guardian a staggering look and returned my attention to the illustration.
Feeling the tension in the room, the guardian stumbles over herself and asks, “Well, I mean, I’m sure you have a ‘real’ job, right?”
Still simmering, I retort with a question for the guardian, “you mean, like an eight-to-five job?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess so.” The guardian stammers.
“Well, yes, I do ‘hold-down’ a full-time job.”
Curiosity killing her, she asks, “can I ask what you do for a living?”
I half-smirk and say, “my title is ‘art director’.”
Silence came over the room and awkwardness continued to invisibly fill the air.
Within the next few minutes, the door opened and I heard a quiet voice say, “Lynette? For Dr. Smith.”
Before standing up to walk to the doctor’s rooms, I put my art materials away, with the exception to the one colored pencil I offered Lillian earlier. I tore out a sheet of paper from the accompanying sketchbook I had with me, and bent down to hand them both to Lillian. Lillian GLOWED.
“This is for you to make whatever YOU want.”
As I walked away, I could hear the immediate scribbling of pencil on paper. And then I GLOWED.