Way back in the stone ages, I worked for a visual merchandising company. We painted racks upon racks of stuff. Mannequins, sculptures for Disney, Warner Bros and several casinos in Las Vegas just like this one.
Sounds glamorous, right?
It was sooo not glamorous.
We worked in a large warehouse in the bowels of the Commerce area in L.A. If you've never been to this part of L.A., be thankful. There are mangy ghetto dogs running around in packs, the streets smell like piss, roach coaches hover around to feed the masses (this was before food trucks became gourmet), and the air carried a foul stench thanks in part to the pollution and the Farmer John factory a couple miles away.
Nothing like the smell of rotting swine to make your workday more productive.
During the summer, the temperatures soared to 105 degrees inside the factory. We would guzzle Gatorade so we wouldn't dehydrate. Not that we did any physical work. We usually sat around the work tables, painting, taping, spraying, laughing and talking with one another.
We'd tape down butcher paper to cover the work tables. Since many of us fancied ourselves as artists--even though what we did on a daily basis didn't really have much to do with art--we got into the habit of decorating the butcher paper to entertain ourselves with drawings, funny faces and for some of the coworkers, graffiti.
This is when Michael and I first met each other. At the time, I had no idea he was so sensitive to people teasing him. You see, teasing people was like, my most favorite activity. Especially a cute boy like this one. But I was a kid then, I'm a grown a$ woman now.
I reserve merciless teasing for the people I love most.
Michael and I would go back and forth on graffiti, and I loved to be snooty and claim that it wasn't a true art form. Partly because I believed it at the time and partly because I just wanted to torture him. I know, I was a beast.
So one day, I scribbled this on the butcher paper:
Michael can't draw.
Of this horrible act that I committed against him, I would never hear the end. He was truly offended, which I never really understood, because he has much better drawing skills than I do! But alas, this longstanding beef between us still stands, even though it's been seventeen long years.
Then one night he was out in his studio burning the midnight oil. And he found this written on his worktable.
Michael CAN draw. Wow...
I had high hopes this would make things even between us. I don't think it worked. Personally, I think the wow just killed it.
Oh well, I tried.
The things one must do to redeem oneself. Isn't having six of his baybays penance enough? Heh.