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small queen of ephyra, on rooftop, with balloons. | by Kathleen Mercado
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small queen of ephyra, on rooftop, with balloons.

pencil and charcoal; sketchbook


for dr. ira


ira was my boss from 1998 through 2004. he died in january of 2005 from pancreatic cancer. i am not sure why, but i thought of him today. i remembered the little statue of sisyphus he had in the office, and, then, i recalled not long after i started working there, asking him about some lovely paintings/drawings lining the main hallway. i was surprised to learn that he was the artist. the one i liked the most was of a little girl, and if memory serves, she was holding a bunch of balloons.


ira and i were very much alike, and as a result we butted heads constantly. we both were perfectionists and parsers....nothing was ever right enough or perfect enough.


i have a favorite story of myself and ira now, when i look back. a forensic psychologist, he frequently was called to testify as an expert witness, in child custody, family law, and murder cases. the Court is not forgiving if a witness (even expert) is late, and the Court frequently changes schedules or postpones. anyway, one day, he HAD to go NOW! The file was ready and clearly labeled and in dated order; i think i had post-its stuck in my hair, leftovers from all the points to be highlighted, highlighter pen all over my hands, and probably on my face. I hand him his beautifully appointed file, and his car keys, and he says to me, "I broke my glasses! You have to fix them NOW!!!!!!! (as though I were, in addition to being a wiz with the parsing, spelling and grammar and vocabulary, also some sort of closet eyeglass healer). I looked at them, looked at him, and grabbed the scotch tape. As I started taping, he is yelling. "HURRY! YOU HAVE TO HURRY!" And, I was so flustered....and he was getting more and more angry at me! I finished and plunked them on his little head, straightened his tie, dusted WHATEVER off his jacket, and yelled: "GO! Just GO!" It's so funny now!


i had quit in a final fit of rage before he was diagnosed...and when i learned he was ill, i went back and worked for another year or so...not for compensation (it's funny the things that suddenly become so simple and what becomes so inconsequential in such a situation), but just to heal and forgive, to laugh and smile, and conspire, and acknowledge that we had made a very good team. it was one of the best decisions i ever made, because when i went back, and would not take that paycheck, we became just people, and i think we appreciated each other so much more. and when he left this world, he parted from me as a friend, and I told him goodbye as the same.


i hope that he would appreciate this imperfect, and entirely unparsed little drawing; it was spontaneous after i thought of it...maybe just five minutes or so.


© Kathleen Mercado, 2015. All Rights Reserved.


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Taken on September 25, 2015