No Limits

Posted: July 19, 2014 by writingsprint in Between Lee and Erica
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Part Four of “Between Lee and Erica”

I helped Lee clean up the downstairs after we all got our acts together. Erica went to meet some friends down at the Point—Point State Park—which left me alone with Lee, and my first chance to see where we stood with each other. Lee cranked up the Doors while we sloughed our way through the living room. With the exception of the dummy, which wasn’t going anywhere, it was all a matter of picking a mess and moving on.

“You listen to ’em?” Lee asked, nodding to his boombox. Just on the radio, I told him. I wouldn’t have called myself a child of the sixties. I recognized the more obvious songs, like Light My Fire, Hello I Love You, and Break on Through.

I found Erica’s studio away from campus where the dining room would have been. Again, nothing that a thief would want. Sketches and paintings were tacked to corkboards all over the wall. I stepped on two nubs of charcoals that she left lying under newspaper that she used to cover the floor. Force of habit, that. There wasn’t much to the rug worth saving.

Erica had definitely been busy. I’d seen her studio on campus earlier in the year, but what I saw here showed much more thought. I thought of Lee, and the way Erica had talked about him, and I picked up some of him in her most recent drawings. Another habit: she kept her newer drawings on the left side of the room. The latest were taped to a plywood board, current projects at eye level, the rest farther away. The images got lonelier and darker, the closer to today that they came. A pale woman looking down, close-up and arms folded, with a man staring at her in the near distance. A really beat-up looking wolf, in shades of dismal gray, with a trail of miles behind him in the snow.

There was one that I couldn’t quite grasp. A towel was dropped around someone’s feet. The legs were thin, not muscled, with hair on them, and I thought they could be Lee’s. The bare feet were facing a closed door with shadows in the light coming from underneath.

I returned to the living room. Lee and I talked for a while about the brothers at the fraternity, but it didn’t get very far. I asked him about the music then. He tried to explain about Morrison, the Doors, what it all meant. Breaking through the limits in your mind.

I walked through the studio and dumped two more glasses into the kitchen sink. They stuck out above the water level. “I guess it’d make more sense if I did drugs.” His only reply was to look at me. He took it personally. I explained, “Erica always told me that I’d never be an artist until I learned to see beyond the real world.”

He snapped his fingers. “That’s it exactly! No inhibitions. See everything.”

We started tossing cans into a plastic trash bag. Things loosened up again. Lee grinned, fiddled with a toothpick in his mouth, and sang along with Morrison during the refrains. I got a kick out of it. I’d known several druggies at college. Lee seemed harmless to me.


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