Raoul Middleman

September 24, 2010

This is my drawing teacher. He's a painter but I love his drawings. Yesterday he drew Bugs Bunny for us and even did a how-to for Dick Tracy. "You want me to show you how to draw Bugs Bunny? You go like this.. and the nose.. and do that for eyes.. the ears.. There you go." He tells us stories about living in The Bowery in his 20's and paying 25¢ for burlesque shows or peep shows. He notes, that he lovesss burlesque, back when it was an art form. He calls me a Hollywood Star. I don't know why, but he does. He's vulgar and loves eroticism. We sit for an hour in the library each class while he takes out books and tells us stories about what goes on inside the paintings. They blow his mind.

Raoul is old. The kind of old man that rambles on and on and goes, "HEH?" He's the type of old man I want to be with. I told someone that I'd love to be his partner/companion/mistress. Not in a sexual way (though I think it'd be a must to be with him), but I'd love to hear his stories all day every day. Like when he was at the Met and saw de Kooning in front of a Reginald Marsh, talking to a friend and swirling his hand around and around. Raoul said he tried to get closer so he could hear what he was saying, but by that time de Kooning walked away.

He used to live down on Baltimore Street in the, now, mini-strip club block or two when it was actually a much larger area. He said he'd have models pose for him and they'd sit still because they'd look out the window and see naked girls on the roof taking photos and playing with dogs.

To be young at that time is priceless. My youth is at the turn of the 21st century. To be young at a time when there weren't iPhones and text messaging and the fear of EVERYTHING. No matter how much I will live/am going to live.. I will never get to live like Raoul did. Not even close. This is when I feel too young.