(title courtesy of Metric’s song)
Next thing I knew, his good hand was resting on my booblet.
Let’s backtrack a bit. Working for a TV network has its ups and downs, downs that include erratic work schedule and ups that include meeting the who’s who of society.
Vera dragged me to a shoot featuring a living National Artist. His works are found in different cities with a renowned campus teeming with testaments of his opus. Yes, he remains a giant in the world of sculpture — even if he’s a fragile creature who’s undergone a surgery or two and even if he can no longer move his hand to sculpt figures and shape clays.
We were with a reporter and with a crew. While setting up, the reporter was trying to engage the National Artist in small talk. Like a curious person with no sight, he started using his good hand to feel the reporter’s arms and thighs. It was not really offensive; it was more like spending time with a doddering person who wanted to get to know someone through touch.
The reporter stepped aside to practice her spiels. I was left alone with him and that was when his hand that was previously clutching my hand flew to my chest. I just held his wrist and tried massaging his good hand. It was awkward, but things had to move fast according to the shoot schedule.
This post is not meant to show him in a bad light. I actually took pity on him — to be once alive with verve and now to be strapped to a life of medical check-ups, pureed food, and schedules.
But once in a while when you turn to look at him, there is fire left smoldering in his eyes, and his arms seem to call out to his tools sleeping in their cases.