Portrait of an Artist as a Young Girl

by Lisa Dovichi

“No, we’re going to get in trouble,” I said.
“No we’re not. She loves art and wants us to do this,” Christy said.
“She wants us to scratch pictures into her car?”
“Yes, it’s my mom’s friend. She’s totally cool with it. She asked me to.”
“You’re lying.” I gathered up the chalk I was drawing with on the sidewalk and walked away.
I should’ve kept walking. But did I? Oh nooooooo. I had to glance back. And there she was, scratching something into the hood of a red Mazda with a rock. A brand new shiny red Mazda. My famous last thought was: Surely she wouldn’t be doing that if it wasn’t true.
Oh yes, I turned around. And because of my infallible six-year-old logic I grabbed my own rock and promptly started scratching my name (yes my name -- the better to find me with m’dear) and E.T. -- my favorite movie at the time, and other random drawings of rainbows, unicorns, and puppies into the hood of the, let me say again, shiny new red Mazda. In my defense, Christy scratched her name (first and last -- I didn’t know how to spell my ridiculously long last name at the time otherwise I probably would’ve too) and E.T. as well as her pieces d’art onto the hood of the car as well. I mean we had to sign our masterpieces, right? We finished our ode to Picasso (cubism is the ONLY way to go when scratching into paint with a sharp sided rock) and feeling pretty proud of our handy work, we went inside to have a snack.
Fast forward to after dinner (we’re talking hours -- like I’d forgotten I’d done it hours). I was lying on the floor watching cartoons when there was a knock at the door. A woman I’ve never seen before starts screaming, spittle flying, at my mom about how I ruined her new paint job.
“How do you know it was my kid?”
Oh pickles, I knew I should’ve just gone home! I started inching my way out of the living room. I knew it was me. I knew I was in big trouble. And I knew when I said but Christy said it was okay that it wasn’t going to save my bacon.
“Because she wrote her name!”
My mom turned and froze me with a look. “She can’t be the only Lisa in the apartment complex.” I knew she knew but I could tell she was still holding out the hope I wasn’t stupid enough to have actually done what I was accused of.
Sorry Mom, I was that stupid.
“True. However Christy Liarpants (which wasn't her real last name, by the way) was kind enough to write her first and last name and I’ve just come from there and Christy says it was your Lisa who did it with her.”
Fast forward past the graphic violence against my person that ensued. Let’s just say I was right, that Christy told me it was okay didn’t save my bacon and I couldn’t sit for a couple days and leave my shame at that. I can’t remember a single time I was ever in that much trouble before or after than I was when I channeled my inner Picasso.
I’ll bet Picasso never got spanked for expressing himself. Sure, sure he probably never expressed himself into the paint job on the hood of someone’s brand new car but that’s beside the point!

1 comment:

  1. Christy said it was okay for you to invest in my time share along the Love Canal. I accept Visa!


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