Quick On The Draw

“When the pencil hits the paper, you’ll know.”

My Occupation Therapist was losing patience with me.

In retrospect, I’m amazed that it took him so long to suggest the simple act of drawing.

I’d tried basketweaving until I accidentally poked Alister in the eye with a bit of bamboo. Didn’t mean to, not really, but he does give everyone the shits.

Gardening didn’t work out too well either. Gardeners are very possessive, and old Mr Jones was sure I was using his tools. The wound on the back of my head gave me a couple of days off from ‘activities’, and Mr Jones got the padded room. My head hurt like fuck, but I still managed to give him the finger as they dragged him off.

“Stay away from my peas,” the old bastard said.

Why would I want to interfere with his peas?

“The residents don’t like blood on their produce,” was the parting comment from Derek, our OT.

No more gardening for me.

Woodworking was out of the question, “until you can show that you won’t hurt yourself or anyone else.”

I’m a good woodworker, but I wasn’t going to tell them that. I spent a couple of summer holidays working for an old-time cabinetmaker. Grumpy old bloke, but I liked him. I made a perfect dovetailed miniature drawer and put it in his grave. I got a few strange looks from the other mourners, but I know he would have liked it.

Derek was right; when the pencil hit the paper, I knew.

I started doing lightening portraits of the staff, then my fellow inmates. Not everyone liked them, which was fair enough. Caricatures are not for everyone.

I quickly found that I had a gift for drawing, not that I cared.

The important thing was that it calmed me down and took away the anxiety.

I’ll make it out of here soon. I have to believe that; otherwise, why bother?

When I make it out, I doubt that I’ll go back to teaching. They have to take me back if I want to, but I just make them uncomfortable. No one likes to be reminded of weakness.

They wouldn’t say anything, but I’d know. I wouldn’t be the brash young teacher who thought anything was possible as long as he threw enough energy at it. Instead, I’d be the loser who burst into tears and cried for four hours on the last day of school. Not sure my ego could take it.

I’ll miss the kids. But, hopefully, they don’t know what happened to me.

I’ve got a bit of money saved up. I can look for another job. Maybe I’ll make furniture or fix old bits. There’s a lot of satisfaction in bringing a piece of furniture back to life.

I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. Firstly, I have to get out of here.

My shrink won’t say what it is, but there’s something wrong with me.

I’ll do a portrait of him.

Maybe that’ll soften him up.


3 thoughts on “Quick On The Draw

    • Thank you kind sir. I wrote it a few months back and it kind of sat there waiting. I liked it when I read it again through fresh eyes. Glad you like it. Writing continues to be a bit of a roller coaster. Hopefully things will get better. Terry

      Liked by 3 people

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