2007-06-10: Art and Madness


Corin_icon.gif Evelyn_icon.gif

Summary: A chance meeting at the Central Park duck pond leads to a discussion of artistic genius and associated disadvantages.

Date It Happened: June 10th, 2007

Art and Madness

Central Park, NYC

Tuesday morning was rainy, which was okay, because Corey was at work, straining his eyes, picking over his company's latest brochures. Of course, the rain pelting on the window in the cubicle across from his didn't really help him with the whole productivity thing. Mostly, it made him want to put his head on his desk and sleep, which he would have done, if his boss hadn't been in a particularly busy body mode for most of the day. Of course, the rain let up around three, and from then, the weather, though still cloudy, became pretty nice, which means that around four, he decided it was time to fake a migraine and escape the office doldrums. Since the weather has cleared up nicely, he decides to head over to Central Park for a pretzel and a little basking in the spring time sun for a couple of hours.

Of course, the park is still a bit damp an hour later, the sidewalks still smelling of chalky, early summer rain, dew drops coalescing on leaves and blades of grass, and little puddles forming around the walk. Having secured his pretzel, he makes for the Alice statue near the duck pond, which has some nice benches. The statue of Alice and her comrades glints softly in the late afternoon sun, beads of water still lazily dripping from the mushrooms and Alice's large, bronze fingers and the brim of the Mad Hatter's hat. There are a few little kids playing around the figures. There pretty much always are, though the children's mother (or babysitter - she looks pretty young) keeps warning them that the statue is slippery.

As far as Corey is concerned, it'll certainly take a fall for the kids to figure that one out. That's just how it goes, so he doesn't have a lot of sympathy - as he takes a seat on a nearby bench, which is still a little damp, but not too bad - when the little boy falls off one of the shorter mushrooms and skins his arm, leading to an annoying bout of wails that only subsides when the female guardian promises to take the kids for ice cream. At last, there is peace around the statue, and Corey sighs in relief, picking apart the pretzel in a way that almost seems like he's too picky to eat it. He's still in his work clothes, a pair of khaki pants that actually look a bit too much like cargos than slacks to be really office appropriate and a collared, v-neck t-shirt which only just makes the company's dress code. Now that the louder children are gone, he can relax a bit more, which he does, stretching out his legs and slumping down on the bench. Much better.

As the kids file out down one path - not that the disorganized mob they migrate in really fits the phrase 'file out' - Evelyn moves in the opposite direction, weaving her way through the gaggle without paying them any more attention than she has to. Since they're fixated on the idea of ice cream, they extend her the same courtesy. The teen shoves a loose bit of black hair back out of her face, hooking it behind an ear in the vain hope it'll stay there, violet-tinted eyes flicking across the area. She gives Corey a neutral, polite nod - no more than an 'I see you there' - and moves to a bench of her own, not far away. Evelyn eyes its damp surface, but ultimately decides it's not worth worrying over - what else are jeans for? - and sits on the end, sliding her underfilled backpack down to rest just beside. She's reasonably dressed for the weather, in black jeans and a light blue tee-shirt with a darker flower printed on one shoulder.

It seems that Corey has just come upon some more interesting company, though not exactly company. At least, the dark haired girl who's just sat at a nearby bench is more interesting than squabbling, squeaky children. He returns her nod with a brief smile, glancing at her bag. Is she in college or high school? She looks like she could either be in her last years of high school or her early years of college. He decides to hope it's the latter, shifting slightly on the bench, a bit closer to the side near hers, resting one arm on the iron rest, still picking apart the pretzel, though now apparently just doing it for the sake of doing it, which for the small cluster of local pigeons accumulated is probably torturous. Is the human going to eat that, or is he going to toss it to them? They seem to recognize the action of breaking bread into smaller pieces, at least. After a moment, he notices the little gaggle and decides to toss a little piece to them before imbibing on a piece of his own, glancing at the girl again. She is pretty, for certain. Hmm. Should he try to make conversation? He decides that would be more normal than to keep stealing glances at her, so he clears his throat and then remarks on the weather, "Nice day, isn't it?"

Fortunately for Corey, Evelyn is not always the most alert of observers - or at least, she doesn't appear to realize she has become an object of study. Maybe she's simply too preoccupied with extracting things from her bag: a clipboard, a few pieces of paper to put on the board, a pair of pencils. Each of which seem to live in their own pockets. Distracted by the opening of conversation, Evelyn blinks over at Corey, then casts a glance at the now-sunny sky. "It's much better now that it's not /raining/," is her response. Her gaze flicks to the expectant pigeons, for whom one little bit of bread is insignificant and ephemeral, important only as a harbinger of more. The teen's lips quirk to one side in an almost-smile before she looks back to Corey. "I just hope it stays dry for a while. It's supposed to be /summer/, right? Or almost."

"Yeah," Corey agrees, "though the rain does keep things a little cooler." Because it can certainly get swelteringly hot in the summer in a city of brick and glass and concrete and herds of metal taxis. Right now, though, is the perfect time of year. It's a steady kind of warm, and the weather is generally nice, so Corey is content. If only the rest of the summer would stay balmy like this. It is nice, as well, that the sun is starting to peek through. He notices that it seems the pigeons are /not/ satisfied with one piece of bread, so he distractedly passes them another few. The sun does make it a bit hard to look at the sculpture, too, the light a bit blinding as it reflects off the brownish surface. Corey doesn't really mind the rain so much, though it does preclude sitting out and enjoying the fresh air, so he doesn't really mind that it's not raining either. And in an attempt to keep the conversation going, he moves from one cheesy topic, to the next. "You come here often?"

Squinting against the reflection from the statue, Evelyn finally resorts to shielding her eyes with a raised hand. She looks over at Corey as he speaks up again, partly because he's talking and partly so she's not looking at the sculpture. "Not exactly," the teen replies with a careless shrug of one shoulder. "I spend a lot of time in the park, I guess - get tired of being inside all day. But not necessarily /here/ here." Since conversation seems to be the thing to do, Evelyn takes the obvious next step and turns the question back around on the questioner. "What about you?"

Corey decides to give up on the pretzel and tosses the rest of the mangled bits to the pigeons who flock around it, their wings making soft beating sounds as they squabble over the remains. However, Corin's attention is strictly on the girl… Too bad it occurs to him that with the back pack, her young face, and the fact that she just mentioned that she's in doors all day that she's probably a high school student. Sigh. Well, it can't hurt just to talk to her, right? And so he does, nodding. "I hate being stuck inside, too." But… obviously Corey isn't really well suited for outdoor pursuits. He might last an hour in construction, at best, and he's also pretty pale, so being in the sun for a long time doesn't bode well for him either. "School's not so bad, though," he adds after a moment. "Wait until you have to work. No windows. Meddling bosses…" He grins cheekily, shaking his head. "Wanna trade?" However, she asked him a question, and it would be rude to ignore it, since it seems like she's taking up his attempt at random conversation, even if it did start off with two pretty lame lines. "Yeah, somehow, I really like this statue. Probably Alice in Wonderland was my favorite story as a kid, so…" He shrugs, still smiling. "It's relaxing to look at it, I guess."

The pigeons get but another glance from Evelyn as they bicker over the pretzel. She may not be any better-suited to the outdoors than Corey, but that doesn't mean she can't prefer being outside. "I never said I minded /school/," she points out with a lopsided grin. The idea of a trade is considered briefly, before she shakes her head. "I don't think so - doesn't sound like an improvement. I'll wait for a better offer," the teen concludes dryly. As Corey turns the conversation to the statue, Evelyn looks over at it, letting the pencil begin to outline what she sees on the paper. "It's a good story," she agrees. "Bit on the bizarre side."

He chuckles as she rejects his offer. "Can't blame you," he replies with a shrug and an uneven grin. "Though I guess it's not all bad. At least, there's no homework," he adds, crossing his arms over his chest, not in a defensive way, but in a relaxed fashion. So, she is in school. Too bad. Well, even if she's underage, she's still cute, so he decides to ask her name. "I'm Corey," he says and pauses expectantly, to see if she'll give hers, though he half expects that she might not, since she is a high school girl in the park talking to a stranger. Still, he figures it can't hurt, and so at least he offers his. "Yeah, it is pretty weird, though I hear that all that talk about Carroll writing it while on opium is a wives' tale. Makes you wonder how he /did/ come up with all that. He must have had some really crazy dreams." The pigeons, having finished their meal, begin to - one by one - fly away to more lucrative places after figuring out that there's nothing else they're going to get here, which is fine with Corey, since he can't help but view them as rats with wings. They're not the cleanest looking birds, at least.

"Point," Evelyn concedes. "But at least I can do homework outside." He may be a stranger, but she's not a New York native; she's inclined to give strangers the benefit of the doubt. "Evelyn," she provides in return, glancing up from her sketch in progress and offering an automatic but sincere enough smile. Crossing her legs, she resettles her weight before going back to the drawing. "I don't think I want to know what was going on in his head. I wouldn't be surprised about the opium, myself. Seems like either drugs or insanity go hand in hand with art. Both, if you're unlucky." Says the girl who's this very moment in the middle of a generally artistic endeavor.

Like Eve, Corey isn't a New Yorker, either, but rather a New Englander, which means that though he has adopted a more urban manner since moving to the city, he still has a more familiar way about him in his interactions. "Nice to meet you," he says, happy that she replies, returning the smile. It's about that moment that he notices that she's sketching something, which is silly for him to have not registered before, but at least he has picked that out now. "Are you an artist?" he wonders, looking back up at her. He's curious about what's she might be sketching, but the artist types he does know generally seem to dislike it when people peek over their shoulders while they're working, so he resists the urge to stand and have a look. Actually, he gets a little embarrassed when she talks about artists and their 'muses,' having just asked if she was one, laughing a little uneasily and running a hand through his hair. "Right," he agrees, though a bit uncertain. "I guess there's no such thing as a straight edge genius."

Evelyn looks down at her paper, then over at Corey. "I haven't really decided. I like drawing, as a hobby." Noticing that he's being very polite about not looming for a look at the picture, she pulls the piece of paper off the clipboard and holds it up so he can see the face. Allowing for sunshine on white paper, it's still apparent that she's sketching the statue. "I happen to be fond of my sanity and health, though," the girl quips, grinning lightly, in light of their recent subject matter. "Probably not," she allows with a nod, setting the paper back on the board. "I wonder why that is. Guess everything has its downside, huh?"

"Nice," Corey says, nodding at the sketch. "You're pretty good. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, given," he adds, referring to their conversation up to the point. "But maybe you can become the first sane and clean artist," he adds with a chuckle. Too bad she's still a kid. She's pretty funny. Cute, too. Bad luck on his part. He scratches his cheek, turning his expression back to the statue to watch a child crouching under one of the mushrooms, apparently trying to hide. Not a very good hiding place, though. His stomach grumbles slightly. Maybe he shouldn't have given his snack to the pigeons. He puts a hand on it to quiet it and stifles a yawn, rubbing one eye lazily. He probably should head home soon. He can grab dinner on the way back. "I guess that's one way of life… being more fair?" he guesses. "You get a good trait, and then you get a bad one, though… It seems like insanity is a pretty bad trait."

"I'm okay," Evelyn corrects. As she adds to her sketch, the hiding child becomes one more element in it. "Maybe if I'm lucky." She chuckles a bit as Corey continues. "Either that, or it's Murphy muddying the waters. My money's on Murphy, really - he's everywhere." Murphy rules the universe. Ask anyone. As Evelyn continues to apply pencil to paper, it's inevitable that her hair falls forward again, and she pauses to push it back into place with a quiet, irritated huff. "I'd think so," she agrees with Corin's final assessment. "I mean, I know art's got all kinds of value, but I don't think that one's a fair trade at all."

Corey can't disagree. Even for the value that art, literature, and the like provides to humanity, the problems that seem to surround the geniuses of those fields seem like a pretty big sacrifice. Well, not like anyone actually chose that kind of thing. It just happened. For a moment, he wonders whether he really would like to go into writing or not. However, this is just a light hearted conversation, so there's no need for that! He smiles faintly, not exactly agreeing when she corrects him, but not being argumentative about it. After a moment, he shrugs. "Murphy, huh?" he wonders aloud. That's kind of an odd, but interesting answer. He wonders why she would bring that into their conversation. After a moment of watching her push her hair back and try to continue to draw, he decides that perhaps this might be a good time for him to vacate. She probably wants to concentrate on her work, and well… cute as she is, she's still too young. It wasn't bad talking to her, though, but he doesn't want to get any weird looks from people, so after a moment, he stands, stretching, and looks around distractedly for a moment before turning back to her and offering her a brief smile. "Well… I guess I better get going, but maybe I'll catch you around sometime. You'll have to let me know how the sketching goes."

As before, Corin's consideration passes without remark from Evelyn, or even notice. She does look up when he speaks again, head bobbing in a nod. "Maybe you will," the girl agrees. "It was nice to meet you, Corey. Enjoy your evening," she concludes, echoing his smile.

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