Sunday, April 22, 2007

Portrait of the Artist as a Baby

Even as a baby I insisted on telling stories in my own unique way.

We were driving in the car, probably the green Mercury Marquis and I was staring out the windshield with a big grin on my face.

"Sign!" I said. Over and over again, "Sign!" Even when there were no signs. My parents were beginning to wonder if I was retarded so they asked me to point to the sign that had me so excited. I pointed at the hood of the car. They explained that there was no sign on the hood of the car. I insisted there was. It took a while but eventually they got it. I was pointing at the sunshine reflecting off the hood of the car. Of course, being my father's son I was mispronouncing "shine" as "sign".

It was my first step towards dysfunctional communication, but not my last.

One day I was sitting in my high chair, pointing at the milk and saying, "Moon!" They knew what I wanted, but I insisted on calling it "moon." So they waited. Eventually frustration won out and I calmly and clearly said, "Milk!" So they gave it to me. But in my heart, it was still "moon".

Later I turned to more abstract forms of communication that were harder to ignore. One day my parents woke up to silence. This alarmed them, since I usually started my day by standing in my crib and screaming, "Hey Dad!" as loudly as possible. Silence meant something was wrong. They raced into my room, and found me calmly and quietly redecorating my crib. There were animals on the headboard of my "early 1970's green" crib and it seems I had decided they needed to be re-interpreted. Of course, I used the only malleable and adhesive medium I could find.

I used the contents of my diapers.

I showed off my masterpiece, pointing to each animal in it's new brown splendor and my re-imagining of it. I have no idea what I was thinking, but at the time, I was proud of my efforts. A little Monet or Dali in the making. My very own Sistine Chapel ceiling in digested applesauce, pureed carrots and mushy peas. I was stoked.

My parents were not amused.

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1 comment:

The Nightbreeze said...

Even though your artistic genius likely was not appreciated, even I would have to think that performance piece would have looked like Crap.