Heave over, huge void, a hole at the front of the paper from which I burst into drawing non-sensical, squiggling lines, page after page. If no pages left then fill the spaces between the lines, verge toward black, then back to little cubes . . . All this to draw the bus at the corner of the same city scene I've been struggling with, hacking and erasing, chipping away for months.

I could start by drawing a bus, but I know better. I could refer back to the picture I took my first week in Hong Kong—that drizzling street-scape soaked with grey—to tell me all I ever need to remember about futility, about parables, like Sisyphus, about a kind of beauty that always seems just beyond reach. The beauty of it is each evening when Ching Wren comes home, that shine of pomade in her eyebrows, and she piles a fresh ream of typing paper in front of me on the coffee table. The futility is the fine misunderstanding between us, rather, that miracle, but I tell myself I can't get too sidetracked wondering what she really thinks.

Then about those cubes . . . I can try anything, draw any and everything to rev myself up, but I find I still have to come back to those cubes shooting through space, through contrails, leading back to pin-points of perspective. These are the building blocks, the theory being that through drawing cubes, you can arrive at anything, mend any fence.

Once, just once, I overturned that coffee table in a fit of rage, and even going over it felt wrong, there in her apartment, like some animal amok inside of a cathedral. That was the downside, when cubes fail and the new plan B is all those squiggling lines . . . And Sakura, only you can ease those lines into even avenues and breeze-swept city streets . . . Each evening, and though I feel your gaze on my back I can't turn around, I won't utter a word, because I'm not just drawing again, I am that bus, silly as it sounds, and despite the mess in front of me, page after page, it's still those engines in my head, like: Voom! Voom!


words: Uzodinma Okehi, New York
photo: Bart Azare, Belgium (flickr gallery)


this page is part of the BluePrintReview