The Knack

I went to design school. Preparation for a fine career in commercial art – I thought it was what I wanted to do for a profession. Smart graphics, clever packaging, crisp type – alluring. Working for just one day in a commercial studio and I reevaluated. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew this was not it. The intoxicating smell of rubber cement could not persuade me to spend the next four years pasting down squares in order to work my way up to making squares for someone else to paste down. What happened to the creative juice, where was the challenging problem solving, the pizzazz? So I was off a 16th of an inch, does it matter? I guess it did.

Maybe something more robust. When the boss asked me if I ever worked on a stage, I assured him I had quite a career in music even at my age of 19. And I had; playing music professionally for five years already. His stage had ropes, and you had to hoist yourself up eight stories of a building to “block out” the old sign with white paint in order to paint a new one. Don’t get me wrong, I was not alone, the ex-paratrooper boss was on the other end of the stage pulling his weight. Then I was alone; he shimmied up the “fall lines” to the roof and disappeared leaving me to paint over the old sign. Sitting, I could handle, standing on the shifting planks was tricky. It’s a long was down. A revelation! As long as I could hold something solid with one hand it wasn’t so bad. Both hands fee …. I didn’t trust myself. The term stage became clear when I noticed the office workers in the high-rise watching me with amusement. My every move was so calculated and slow – the big area that needed painting seemed like the Sharia in proportion. The ends close to the ropes got done but the middle was left for later, the boss would do that after he finished his tuna fish sandwich and laughing his ass off in the truck below.

Watch your step and hold the handrail.

What goes down stays down.

~ by Larry Revene on March 5, 2012.

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