Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

Day 11: Inspiration & observation

My target for today is the National Gallery. I've spent an afternoon there before, but never made it beyond the medieval section. I get an audio guide and go for the 1600-1700 section. I admire Titian, who is featured in the central gallery at the moment, and Tiepolo and all the Dutch still life painters. I grow tired of all the biblical scenes and walk rapidly through each room, seeking the non-Christian-themed paintings. Give me paganism, give me Greek and Roman mythology, give me Ovid's "Metamorphosis." But if I have to look at the Annunciation one more time, my little atheist heart will burst.

I spend at least fifteen minutes gawking at Caravaggio's "Boy Being Bitten By A Lizard," trying to get my brain to accept that it is seeing the painting in real life. I can die happy now.

Eventually, I can't stand it any more. I take off the headphones and snag a bus home. I set up and carefully light Marco's Puerto Rican coffee pot and for three hours, I draw feverishly with graphite and ink. I am well satisfied with the result. I resolve to continue the next day.

Marco calls me at around 8 pm. He is dr0nk. He and his co-worker, Ian, have consumed an entire bottle of wine each at dinner and have dragged a number of workmates to a nearby bar, Thirst. I hastily don my tall boots and get on the bus to join them. Marco greets me and pulls me downstairs. The company has taken over the entire seating area. Marco can't stop dancing and talking. He is the life of the party. I watch him, a little awed at his evident abandon. Regardless of what he says about not changing, I don't think I've ever seen him this happy. Tonight, I can fully understand why he wanted to move here. He has rapidly become a central element to the operational and social health of his workplace, and his enjoyment of his chosen role has permeated all aspects of his life. It is the feeling he was missing in Pasadena.
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