I’m expecting a woman with curves like hills, creamy skin and
ample breasts. We get lanky Terry in his little blue robe for our still
life. His moon-white body is all angular, arms and legs in a tangle.
His only elegance is tapered fingers, delicate as a piano player.
“It’s not the done thing to laugh,” whispers my accomplice artist
friend, I swallow a wave of giggles. The bell chimes,
Terry dances and struts in one-minute warrior poses as we
scribble furiously, etching his sharp features, capturing
character onto our pages. He carries a shield, wields a sword.
A gladiator in Roman courts, next reclining on his velvet
chaise longue in his boudoir, cavorting with buxom ladies,
laden with his bunch of glorious grapes.
More like Rodney from Only Fools and Horses with Steve Coogan’s
wine-stained pout and greying comb over.
My drawings depict monkeys in various stages of evolution —
knuckle-dragging to Neanderthal. Eyebrows knitted in comical
surprise, hoods of his eyes raised, thoughtfully. Terry has a day job
at the post office, he tells us during break as I hastily slurp
Sauvignon Blanc. Next week please let it be a woman,
let my strokes look less like a monkey, more the moody
musings of real artists, who don’t gawk like a gaggle
of schoolgirls at sparse pubes and shrivelled pee wees.