To Be Sketched

Last night I had a quite new experience... I was sketched on the subway.

At about 1:30 a.m., after a frustrating commute from Kew Gardens that involved a car, a bus, 3 different train lines and an out of system transfer that had me walking in the rain for 5 blocks, I was comfortably ensconced on the 1 train, having a conversation with the director that I'm working with on this project. An older man got on the train carrying a clipboard and a handful of sharpened pencils. He sat across the aisle from us and began sketching.

I was secretly elated, but I wasn't sure what to do. The 1 train is much smaller than my preferred A line, and it was impossible to mistake what he was doing. I'd have probably been doing it myself if I was alone on the train. I felt bad for him, knowing that I was going to be leaving the train in a few more stops. He had picked a poor subject to sketch. I tried to stay as still as I could, focusing on the conversation, to give him as much chance as I could, but the ride came to end quickly.

As I got up to exit the train I glanced at his clipboard, but I guess he was frustrated by my early exit, as he was busy scribbling out his efforts. The last thing I saw was him balling up the page. I can sympathize with his frustration, I have many sketchbook pages that are only partially finished because my subject left the train quickly.

Sorry Mr. Clipboard, I'd have loved to have seen your sketch, finished or not. Maybe next time.

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