al 1

I have always frequented libraries.
I think of them as a third parent.
When I was 7, I was obsessed with Garfield.
I spend hours poring over comics,
mimicking pencil strokes
until I could draw that
fat orange tabby with perfection.
I middle school, I favored Hirschfeld.
I spent my summer vacation pouring over his drawings.
Playing hide and seek with the elusive “Nina”
was infinitely better
than trying to locate Waldo.
Waldo was a fool and not worth my time.
Kevin Kline, Elizabeth Taylor, Madeline Kahn–
I would stack towers of “The Best of American Theatre”
at a table and it became my office.
I was a theatrical anthropologist.
Tracing faces with my black Bic pen.
Not by placing paper directly over the drawings,
but my staring at them intensely,
repeating the same lines, curves and points
as Hirschfeld.
Chins, eyebrows, noses, lips.
I drew my way through three decades of theatre.

It was the first world to which I truly belonged.