I really like living here in Missoula, MT., my new hometown. It's full of history, music, art, hippies, rednecks, great food, big mountains and lots of colorful characters. I enjoyed sharing a tiny piece of the story of Tommy the Leprechaun on St. Patty's Day. I think I'll like sketching and sharing tiny pieces of the stories of others I meet along the way.
About a month or better ago I was going to meet a friend for lunch. I got downtown a little early and decided to step in to the saloon next door and have a beer while I waited for her to show up.
I was sitting there with my glass of Highlander, my sketchbook on the bar in front of me though it was closed and minding my own business (like I always do) and a few of the downtown weekday daytime drinkers wandered in. I don't know if they have an official club or anything or if that's there name, but there they were. A couple of the guys sat at the end of the bar talking to the bartender about last night's goings on and a young lady who was with them named Kris sat down on the stool next to me.
I was reading something on my phone and Kris was just kind of taking in the day and looking around. After she'd been there for about 5 minutes she pointed at my sketchbook and asked, "What are you sketching?". I tried to describe the kind of thing I liked to draw to her and she smiled and took that in too.
Then she told me how she liked to doodle a lot once as well. She enjoyed drawing geometric shapes and designs. getting lost in the page as her pencil made a pattern that she'd build on and then build on some more until pretty soon she knew she was done.
She said that back when she was tweaking, it was all she enjoyed doing. She'd do a bunch of meth and then get lost in sheaves of paper and her designs. She called herself a tweaker-doodler.
She said that while she was in prison, doodling was how she passed the time. She could buy paper and colored pencils from the commissary cheaply and she'd spend the hours drawing page after page of these designs. Pretty soon the other inmates got into it and would ask to have them and they would spend their hours coloring in Kris' designs. They even were so proud of their works of art, they began hanging them up on the communal walls and comparing and complimenting and competing with each other over which was the best.
Then one day the guards made them take their drawings down. Said that they were too distracting. Said they made the prisoners too excitable.
She said she never doodled after that. I asked if she did now that she's out. She said, "No. Since I've sobered up, I don't like it anymore. I was a tweaker-doodler and that's all I guess.".
Then it was time to go to the restaurant next door and meet my friend and I said goodbye. Told her I would probably see her around town again. She smiled and told me to enjoy my lunch.
I think someone needs to go out to the prison and knock some guards' heads together.
That's my story about Kris.
Talk to you soon.