My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.
– Jim Valvano
Dana Bowman is determined to find her missing brother Bast Overture. In last week’s post she interviewed Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding and we saw where that got her. She’s still sitting in the Thurston library boardroom and looking at her sketchpad with the picture of Bast with his beard, which he shaves off in one of the stories in Beyond the Tripping Point by Sharon A. Crawford (Blue Denim Press, 2012). The photo gets her thinking back when she and Bast were growing up.
“What are you doing, son? Drawing? Sissy stuff. You should be playing baseball.”
Dad was like that – always finding fault with my brother. And as his fraternal twin I felt it when Dad hit on Bast. This time Bast and I were sitting out in the front yard under the big maple tree. We were 11years old. We both had our sketch pads in front of us. We both drew people, but his were serious and a true likeness – Mrs. Cooke next door with her fly-away hair and crooked smile, and the delivery people – UPS – Dad always had packages coming to the house, which is why he had come outside in the first place as he was expecting another delivery. Bast usually drew secretly in his room – I was the only one he’d show his sketches to. I’d show him my sketches – I also drew everyday people but in exaggeration. Mr. Cooke flew away with her hair and her smile slid down to her neck. Dad came over to us and started yapping at Bast.
“Well, Sebastian, I asked you a question.” Dad glares down at his son.
Bast cowers and tries to hide behind his sketchpad.
“Dad, Bast is just helping me with my homework. We have to draw the people in our lives and I needed another perspective.” I look up at father, while trying to close my sketch pad.
“Is that so, Sebastian?” Dad seems to ignore me and continues staring at Bast.
“Maybe…yes…I guess so,” Bast manages to say.
“Speak up son; I can’t hear you.”
“Maybe…yes…I guess so.” Bast repeats it in a somewhat louder voice.
“Well, which is it?”
Dad bends down, grabs Bast’s sketchpad and starts ripping off sketch by sketch, muttering under his breath. He tears one sketch up and throws the pieces at Bast.
“You are wasting your time and I don’t see much talent here.” He turns to me. “Dana, keep up the good work. You might make an artist one day.”
He strides down the driveway to meet the UPS truck just pulling into the street. He didn’t even look at my sketches. I turn to Bast. He has his face buried in his sketchpad and he is crying. I move over to him and touch his shoulder. He winces.
“Bast, it’s just me, Dana. Don’ let Dad get to you. You are good. You see people for who they are.”
Bast pushes me away. “No, Dad is right.” He picks up the rest of his sketches and starts tearing them up as if each piece was a piece of our father.
To my knowledge Bast never draw another picture. But he went on to Journalism school at Ryerson in Toronto and became a great crime writer. He could get right into the people and why they did what they did. He uses that gift when we try to find missing persons or whatever our clients want us to do.
Now, someone had gotten right into him and taken him away.
Was it someone he once wrote about? Or someone he’s interviewed in the last few months. I chew my lower lip. Then I pick up my charcoal and start sketching my brother.
Sharon A. Crawford
You can read more about the characters and their stories in from Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to my profile – including book reviews – at www.amazon.com. The book is available there in print and Kindle. For Kobo e-book go to http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-the-tripping-point or go to any bricks and mortar store and order in a print copy.
See Sharon A.’s Upcoming Gigs, workshops, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html The next one is this evening, teaching Kick-start Your Memoir Using the Six Senses from 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Beaches Branch of the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.