Again, the only sound was the clothes spinning. But Lyn was too smug to feel awkward. She buried her face in the sketchbook and said, "I'm not the one with a prejudice." She was outlining what looked like the curves and waves of a river.
"Prove it then." Peter said.
"What do you mean, prove it? You want me to go spend meaningful time with a lunatic?" She looked up. His hands were on his hips.
"Yes. That would be terrific."
"Isn't riding the B.A.R.T. enough? Don’t I have to deal with enough crazy at the train station?"
She buried her head in the sketch. More dismissive than angry, she said, "Fuck you, I don't have to prove myself to you." Yet she did. She felt a terrible need to prove to this loser that he was wrong.
"I have money problems. If I had extra time, I wouldn't hang out with schizos, asking people for change. I'd get a second job."
"There are places that will pay you to care for mentally-disabled people in your spare time. I know people. I’m sure I could hook you up with a job."
“But do gems of wisdom like ‘Visualize what you seek’ come for free?”
“If you’re lucky. ”
There was a buzz. Peter attended to the call of his clean wash.
She got the rough sketch down, but again she felt the pull to put it on a bigger canvas. What was it about the persistence of waking and the slipperiness of dreams? She would allow it no more. She would capture the eyes that stared at her through the darkness, the stillness of the trees, the movement of creatures she could smell more than see. She wanted to track it, trap it, contain it. Other people made charts and graphs. Lyn would make her checkmarks and notations in leaves, vines, trees.
It wasn’t simply that she was worried she may forget the dream. Equally important was the desire itself to paint. There was a time when she was young that Lyn would have said she wanted to be an artist. But no matter how much praise her paintings gained, nothing ever met her own standards. She grew to loathe the act of sitting down to paint, it offered her nothing but disappointment with herself. But she still wanted to be able to call herself an artist, so she hobbled along with it. Then the dreams stopped. Nothing else seemed worthy of capturing. Every where she looked was gray and black slanted. No point in painting a world without any color, so she didn’t.
But here, now, with the dream the want had returned. She would do anything to hold onto that feeling, to be able to call herself an artist again, to want to be an artist again.
She quickly gathered all her drawing supplies. She wanted to get home right away, while the fragment was still in her mind. Maybe she could convince Tyree to bring her laundry home at the end of the day. After all, they were going to the same place.