Orange- energetic and excitement, blatant and vulgar, warmth and attentive.
We walked to his place. Eli isn’t as quiet as I thought he was. He isn’t shy, his personality needs to be pushed out. He is very bright. And the way he talks about things with such imagery makes me forget reality for just a little while. I liked hearing him talk and get excited about things, it was nice. He had a vision for a good bit of the things he talked about, and it was a passionate vision. No wonder he is talented. I was amazed to know how he thinks and feels.
I was aware of his slight problems though. It wasn’t hard to figure out. His focus was hard to control, he even told me that. His fear of people wasn’t bad, but he described it to not be a fear, just a precaution. He really doesn’t like other people touching him but he said he’s working on that.
What he wants is to be more interactive with others.
At least he’s trying and succeeding. He isn’t anti social at all.
I told him about me, what I knew about me at least. There wasn’t much though. I’m pretty normal in the sense of boring. The only thing he thought was amusing was the fact that my mom and dad work with mental problems. And he has mental problems. But they aren’t extreme as other people I have met.
He has a regular loft place, something usually college students would live in. It was big and a little empty but I have to remember he’s the only one who lives here. I saw the small kitchen with the white refrigerator and silver appliances around. It doesn’t seem like he uses them a lot. And when I walked further inside, I saw a messy bed, some papers on the floor, some paint bottles and water bottles, some clothes and other things on the wooden floor.
I had my back towards another wall. When I turned around, I almost dropped my stuff just as quickly as I dropped my jaw. It wasn’t some plain old wall, it was a painted wall. There was a painting of big flowers on the wall. They were orange and dark red and bright yellow. But the center was mostly orange. I noticed other paintings on the corners and sides, and almost as if it was under the flowers. He paints over his paintings sometimes, he must use the wall all the time I stared at the wall, and then my eyes went to the floor.
“Sorry for the mess, I didn’t expect you to say yes to me.” Eli said as he walked by me.
“No its fine- how do you do that?” I pointed to the wall because that was my main focus at the moment. I haven’t seen people do this to a wall in their own place before. And he is constantly painting over it.
“Well,” he started, glancing towards the wall as he thought of answer to my question, “I just sort of paint whenever I’m in the mood for it I guess.” he said as he walked over to it. “This was two days ago.” he added, sighing.
He always does this?
“Its amazing.” I said quickly.
“I’m probably going to paint over it again.” he said as he looked down at the paint colors on the floor.
“You don’t have canvases?” I asked.
“I do, but I use those for other things.” he said as he picked up a paint brush that was in some cyan paint. He has a whole set of blue.
He flung blue paint on to the wall, not caring about messing with the perfectly painted flowers. The orange color made me feel sort of anxious but after seeing the blue, I was conflicted. I wasn’t sure if I should be calm or not. The colors were contrasting each other but warm and cool colors aren’t mixed plainly like that.
I walked next to him, picking up another paint brush. I dipped it in the cyan paint and walked up closer to the wall; I drew a big line over the orange flowers, crossing over them without any tension in my wrist. I liked it.
I didn’t think I would actually enjoy painting on someone else’s wall but there was so much room. I drew a thick line over the flowers and for some reason, it just felt exhilarating. It was like I had all this space to do what I wanted.
Elijah must get this feeling a lot.
“I can’t believe you live here.” I said in some sort of shock. It finally reached me. I turned around towards him and found him twirling his paint brush as he began smiling at me.
“Its a bit simplistic.” he said.
But he took this wall and made it into something that wasn’t simple. It was beautiful. Does he know that?
I noticed some different bottles on the floor close to under his bed. They weren’t tucked that far under. I moved around the paint tubes and cans and walked across the loft to look at them. I was a bit suspicious of them. And when I picked one up, I was right with my suspicion. Alcohol.
“You drink?” I asked as I read the bottle. Its vodka.
“I learned its hereditary.” he said.
I looked over to him. He said it’s hereditary. “Your parents were alcoholics?” I asked.
“They both were. My dad practically killed himself by drinking.” He sighed as he looked away. “And my mom just follows wherever the alcohol is.” He rubbed the back of his neck as he turned away from me completely.
Being an alcoholic can be hereditary. Should I be surprised that its already started for him? He might have that dependency on alcohol now, or even years ago. I would have never thought he was a drinker, it doesn’t seem like he’s a heavy drinker, but I just don’t know. I’m not sure. I put the bottle back down on the floor lightly as I noticed more of them. I can’t comment on his habits. I barely know him and its not my place to say anything about it.
“I’m sorry.” were the only words I managed to get out of my mouth.
“I should have known it was coming. But its fine. I try not to drink so much. And if I really feel like it, well...” he turned to the wall. He paints to get rid of the frustration. He does art to get rid of the frustration. I admire that
He tries not to fall victim to his problems. Instead of moping about it, he tries to make it work.
“How long does it take you to do all this?” I asked.
“If I’m really focused, not that long.” he said. I walked back over next to him and picked up the paint brush I had before in my hand. I wanted to draw all over it. I just wanted to put my feelings on this wall.
I never do this.
But I want to.
“Go ahead.” he said, already feeling my anticipation for all this. When he said those words I got closer to the wall, putting my blue stained paint brush on it. He did the same too.
And we painted on his wall.
For so long, I was just attracted to the wall, wanting to do this for a while. And as it began to get dark, the blue turned out to look much better with the mixed orange. We left spots for the orange and red and yellow to peak out of but the wall was mostly blue where the warm colors dominated. I contained myself as best as I could, but after a while, I started to let my emotions out. I was calmer now because of the blue instead of anxious. It made me feel better than I was before.
I will always want to do this.
We sat on the floor together, staring up at the wall as it got darker and darker inside. It was getting late but I wanted to stare at the wall. I had gotten paint on my arms and my clothes, but that’s the one thing I enjoy about painting: getting dirty. Eli had paint on himself too, and I thought blue complimented him but that’s because of his eyes, his bright blue eyes.
“For once, what I did doesn’t look so bland.” I admitted.
“Its better to add emotion in. That’s what art is.” he said as he drew the paint brush on his arm, drawing streaks of blue on his skin.
“It feels better.” I said, watching the wall then glancing at him. He seemed more at peace. This is why he does it, right? I found it interesting because its him. Because its all him.
“That’s when you know you did it right.” he said quietly as he put his paint brush down. “We didn’t even work on the assignment.” he said. I covered my face as I curled up. I forgot all about that.
But I knew that would happen.
“Don’t worry about it, I can do something tonight.” he said as he got up.
“I can’t make you-”
“You’re not.” he said. I noticed he held his hand out for me to take and he wasn’t hesitant about it either. Is this a good idea? I took his hand slowly and he helped me up. “I’m still working on it.” he said when I noticed he was slightly shaking. I took my hand from him so I wouldn’t scare him even more.
“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.” I said.
“You don’t.” he said and tried to smile. He’s working on it. “I’ll walk you home.” he said. He really is trying.
I thought about being home, then I wondered how my parents are taking it right now. I should have been home a while ago, I didn’t even call to say that I would be late for dinner. That’s a slip up on my part. But hopefully I won’t get yelled at.
I took Eli’s offer to be walked home.
If I could be with him longer, I would. It was fun being with him. I wonder if he knows that at all. I think he’s entertaining, and fun, and he’s really passionate about art. I thought it was cool. I want to do this more often but I can’t be picky about it. I don’t want to push my luck and ward him off about it, Eli is a really great person and I don’t want to mess up what we have right now.
“Thank you for walking me home.” I said as we walked up my front steps together.
“Thank you for wasting time with me.” he said, laughing lightly. In the dim light, I could see his smile, and the way his eyes shined when he was happy. I looked up at him with amazement and I didn’t even realize I was doing it.
“It was my pleasure of course.” I said and looked down, almost feeling myself blush. I didn’t know why I was doing that but I was.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Jamie.” he said and began to turn the other way. I caught a glimpse of his perfect smile as he walked down the steps. I held back my wave when he couldn’t see me anymore.
I wanted to do this again.
I walked inside quietly, only to find yelling the second I stepped in. I wasn’t surprised at all by this, in fact, it happens. I don’t really go out much and when I do, I come home to yelling. And its directed towards me so I shouldn’t be shocked by it in the slightest.
“Jamie, where were you?” Mom came to greet me harshly. I notice that she was in her white uniform, as if she just got back from work. Of course she did.
“I was with a friend.” I said to her as I put my stuff down.
“For that long?” she asked.
“We were working on something together.” I said.
“I can see that.” she looked me up. Its not like I can hide the paint that stained my skin and clothes. I didn’t mind it though, I liked the paint on my skin. I always liked it. But mom doesn’t, she finds it disturbing. Very. I watched her look me up as if she was sort of intrigued and scared at the same time.
“I’m sorry mom, I-”
“No, I’m sure it was something you enjoyed doing, since you couldn’t even let us know you were going to be gone for so long.” she said as she crossed her arms, turning away to walk on. I can’t really fight with my mother, its not something I will win. I picked up my bag and dragged it along as I went upstairs.
This paint wasn’t going to come off for a while. I didn’t mind though.