A.R.T. Confidential, an inside look at a hidden world: Elijah

We have to trust they are bringing us all those right for A.R.T. That they are not leaving behind the somber nonverbal somnambuelent little boy.

When we have had enough new artist beautiful breakouts so we know the staff will carry on with the program once we fly back to New Jersey I ask for their hardest to reach client.

The staff instantly agree on who these young people are.

“Can you bring them here so we could work with them?”

Sometimes they warn us it is no use but okay they’ll go get them.

Little Elijah sat before the canvas we had prepared.

With someone who will not signal yes or no we load the canvas thick with tinted acrylic gel so if the hard to reach kid happens to move the headmounted laser across the field of thick color the Tracker can trace the motion with a stick and get instant, sensuously physical results immediately.

Wait, and wait, and wait some more all of us did, little Elijah sitting in his little wheel chair, the wheel chair facing the field of gel.

Such a long silence. It went on, and on, and on, and on, nothing moving in the silent studio full of people. This long silence broke into hushed intakes of air like very quiet gasps as Elijah decided to bring the laser to the painting.

Slowly he drew a spiral. It having the effect on us his audience of a hypnotist’s coin Slowly round and round and round and round, expanding a little more each revolution.

Satisfied with this nice spiral he moved to an area of untouched acrylic and made another spiral. And it seems, having us all mesmerized, perhaps himself included, he would keep making these separate spirals forever. The canvas spirals spirals spirals some quite small some larger.

The time dedicated to little Elijah’s session having ended, a wave of applause, a staffperson backed up his wheelchair, revolved it and off they went. But as he was rolled through the doorway both his arms, which we were told rarely if ever moved, shot out left and right, in an attempt to grab the doorframe, to stop his being taken from the studio.