JR, Part 2
For a young man in his early thirties JR was very small. As small as a child. This size of his body belied the fierce drive alive within him. Thoughts and feelings you would have if you could not walk, talk, use your hands and were unable to express any of this and so were treated by staff as if you were a little kid.
Assured he was in charge of every step of the A.R.T. process he took charge. Our Tracker used yes and no questions to arrive at the fact he wanted a really big canvas. 6’x6’.
He chooses to use the head-mounted laser. He wants black paint. From the wide array he selects a specific brush. He okays his distance from the raw canvas mounted on the wall of the work-station, everything is ready to go, the other artists, his friends looking on in silence.
Loaded brush in her hand our Tracker asks, “Ready?”
JRs eyes shoot up, then the ruby bead of the laser darts and swoops in the upper left-hand corner quadrant of the canvas. On he directs the black painting, viciously slashing and coming around to rip into the building storm of black, ripping and lashing upwards, outwards, then back again.
In the intense action, his best friend Eric says, “Tim, I think I know what he’s trying to say.”
I touch my fingers to my lips.
The assault of super energized paint fuels the storm pressing on the upper corner of the canvas. On and on he slashes, paint flying, some of it dripping. Bashing past the border of masking tape, coming around, veering to lash again until JR is soaked with sweat, the tracker panting, the laser’s ruby bead drops from the canvas.
Eric says, “Tim. I think I know what he is trying to say.”
“JR,” I ask, “do you mind if Eric tells us what he thinks you were trying to say?”
JR gives an elfin shrug of his little shoulders as if to say, “It’s no big deal to me.”
“Okay Eric, what was JR was trying to say?”
“He,” Eric says, “was trying to say, he was trying to say, “Get me the hell out of here!”
Everyone busts up laughing, making all sorts of sounds that work as cheering. JR, drenched in sweat, blinks, smiles, takes a deep breath in, closes his eyes, then lets the air out.
“That,” our Tracker says, “Was really something.”