Birth of Laser

A person with physical challenges can use the A.R.T. head-mounted laser to reach out far beyond the limits of their bodies to draw, to paint, with speed and fluidity. It is simple. Wherever the artist draws the light, the Tracker applies their chosen colors.
Let us return to the day of the birth of laser painting, many years ago. The A.R.T. artists had made a splash using the tires of their wheelchairs as drawing tools.  In time we all saw the limits of this technique, no matter how the public loved it. 
Something was definitely wrong and it seemed clear that it was something the A.R.T. artists were hesitant to tell me.
‘‘Eric. What’s up?’’ I asked.
Eric looked down and away. ‘‘Well,’’ his voice dragged. ‘‘Well.. .’’
‘‘Has it got anything to do with this class?’’ I asked. ‘‘Yup.’’
‘‘Like what? It’s your class, right? What’s up?’’
‘‘The wheel painting,’’ Eric moaned apologetically, ‘‘is good, but.. .’’
‘‘But what?  You’re sick of it?’’ ‘‘Not really sick.’’
‘‘Kind of bored.’’
‘‘Yes!’’ I threw a punch in the air. ‘‘That’s excellent! I’m sick of it too.’’
Eric threw back his head, the happiest I had ever seen him.
‘‘What,’’ he asked, “will we be, you know, doing next?’’
“To tell you the truth Eric I haven’t the slightest idea.” Alone in my studio I asked what were the A.R.T. artists lacking? What did they need, one thing for sure was: Speed. Repeating the word over and over as a mesmerizing mantra, speed. Speed. Speed. Speed. Speed. Speed. In this state of mesmerization I asked, “What is the fastest thing in the world?
Light. At the gun store I told the guy behind the counter, “I need a laser.”
Smiling like a lizard, his eyes narrowing to slits, he hissed in a confidential whisper, ‘‘What kind of range are we talking about?’’
Checking to my left then right, narrowing my eyes the way he had I whispered, “Close up,’’ Removing a laser from a glass cabinet, drawing it up to his shoulder the way you throw a dart, he aimed the beam.
‘‘Got you,’’ he said.
A color photograph of the President of the United States and his wife, the ruby bead resting on the President’s chest.
I gave a low whistle.
With a slight adjustment the ruby bead moved to rest on the chest of the First Lady. “Got you too.” He hissed.