Monday, October 13, 2008

short fictional prose writing thing

There once was a man named John Pinchback who was a marvelously gifted calligrapher. He never studied the art, and was never aware of his talent for as long as he lived. He was indifferently read, but a meticulous speller. He worked as a mechanic at a muffler specialist, and rarely had occasion to write more than a receipt. However, when the time came to write a tag for a Christmas gift, or to knock off a flier for a garage sale, to draw a simple map for a lost stranger, or to leave a note for the babysitter, his lettering was a marvel of composition, perfectly balanced, with each stroke evincing an effortless awareness of the overall sense of what was being written. Each letter vibrated with a holographic richness, each ascender and descender conveying the sum expression of the word it formed. Despite the fact that his artistic training was limited to one high school shop class, and that his media were never more refined than a Sharpie or a ball-point pen, his calligraphy could have stood up in a comparison with any of the great Zen or Confucian masters. He has been dead for fifteen years. Outside of fragments in the possession of his family, his only extant work is a hastily scrawled "Wet Paint" sign that is folded into quarters, housed in a sun-yellowed paperback copy of J. P. Donleavy's The Ginger Man on a shelf at the Purple Heart store in Tyler, TX.

1 comment:

ß. Andrigon said...

Was he also an artist when it came to mufflers? I love hidden artists.