@ 27.055 MHz: Ad Astra; Student Report In An Art 101 Course [1st Draft, Subject To Change]

All this artist's paintings are signed with an appellation,

Purview, and for the purposes of this paper, I shall

respect his preference; and this, his chosen designation,

liberated him from the implied restrictions of his

mundane identity, imposed upon him by the prejudiced

world that dared, in its arrogance to imagine that

Love could be divided and categorized into qualities

deemed acceptible or forbidden, and then to enforce these.

He drew inspiration for his earliest paintings from Greek mythology:

Achilles & Patroclus Barebacking Chiros The Centaur, Their Mentor;

Eros & Ganymede, Harvesting Sweetness, At The Top Of The Tower Of Troy;

along with various other titles, Narcissus And Hylas---Naked; Fawnlets, 1

(Frolicking With Each Other)Fawnlets, 2 (Intimately Embracing Each Other); and

Fawnlets, 3 (Mounting And To Be Mounted).  Then he turned to Ptolemaic Egypt:

Caesarion Naked In His BathCaesarion, Naked, In Koan Silk Stockings, and

Caesarion Upright On The Lighthouse's Top Deck, On Pharos.  

His skilled depictions were cherished by the most appreciative observers, and

despised (as if this were no compliments) by clodhopping haters and prudes,

particularly Thornin Myside---most vociferously and venomously by the

envious and contrariliy reactionary, Thornin Myside.

But the centerpiece, summary, and pinnacle of his lifetime's work---by

common consent of artists, scholars, and even browsers alike---is the

Ron B. Variations., the beauty of which I will not diminish by summary

descriptions (my words not adequate to the task, I am only a

freshman); but I have gathered the artist's own words from various, and

sometimes rather obscure sources (including conversations in a late-night

diner, recorded by interlocutors, present, on napkins made available there.

(See attached Bibliography .)  In Purview's words:  "My first encounter with

"Ron B. occured late on a Spring weekday's afternoon, toward the end of my

"sophomore year, and following that day's final dismissal bell.  In departing the

"high school campus, I had taken a circuitous route of exit, in order to

"avoid and elude the beating, threatened during fourth period biology.  This 

"strategic retreat brought me into the locker room adjacent to the

"Weight And Conditioning Facility, which itself was next to the main

"gymnasium, where I had passed some unpleasant hours the previous

"academic semester.  The locker room would, routinely, have been

"empty this late in the day, as no varsity or reserve game, or

"practice, was scheduled at that time.  But, to my incredulous shock, as

"I rounded a corner, my overly keyed up sight---alert, as it had long

"been conditioned (since my sixth grade year) to be, to the lurking or

"stalking presence of bullies---fell upon Ron B. (by common consent---

"among us few, secretly communicative, homosexual nerds---the most

"beautiful, the most gorgeous, the most erotically desirable varsity

"athlete in our school.  Shoulder length auburn hair (in tacit

"defiance of the antiquated dress code that occupied four entire

"pages of the Student Handbook And Guide To Acceptible Behavior On
"Canpus Grounds); the slender frame and agile limbs that we, ourselves,

"called swimmers' or runners' build---without brawny, but distorted

"musclature, although he had lettered as our football team's staring

"quarterback.  His eyes were deeply brown and very limpid; his smile, in

"the privacy moment seemed both shy and coy as he sat there,  

"apparently undisturbed by my awkward and unexpected intrusion (as

"he confirmed to me, weeks later), not at all self-conscientious that he

"was entirely naked, except for a pair of thigh-high white socks, the

"soles floor grimed, with a thin metallic blue seam across the toes.  I was

"immediately transfixed and felt that I could not (and, of course, would

"not have wanted to) move.  Our eyes met, and I did not look away, as

"I so often did---was conditioned by my assigned unpopularity to do---

"during normal encounters in classrooms, corridors, the lunchroom and the

"library.  He seemed to be pleased to be looked at so intently and ardently.

"I knew that he was aware of who I was and what others said I was, and yet

"he neither turned away, nor retaliated.  Straddling the bench, he leaned

"back on his arms (that I had often wished might enfold me in an

"effectionate embrace).  His thoracic circlets of pleasure had already

"erected.  From the chestnut profusion of soft curls at its base, his

"tumescence was already beginning to rise, and then to bob a bit to the

"rhythm of his pulse (and I was very aware that my own heartbeat had

"wildly accelerated).  He moved with leisurely poise, assuming several

"postures that seemed entirely casual and natural, and also exquisitely

"erotic.  The moment seemed to put time on a pause, and yet,

"paradoxically, did not last nearly as long as I would have wanted.

"I stuttered what I hoped sounded like a sincere apology for

"barging in on him, but truthfully I was not sorry at all; no, not

"sorry at all.  That night, when the telephone rang, it was a call from

"him.  About a week later, we went out to get a pop together; the

"evening after that (we later agreed) represented our first date as a

"viable couple.  Soon, his class ring dangled from a chain around my

"neck and under my shirt.  The verbal and, sometimes, physical

"bullying that my friend and I had endured for years came to a

"rather abrupt halt; and we noticed several of his friends on the

"football and track teams, keeping a vigilant watch.  He gave me the

"privilege of showing him how to enjoy the arts.  He gave me the

"gift of escaping my nervous fear of intimacy---entirely naked,

"except for his socks, which he did not remove at my request.

"He is present, in some way, in every painting I have ever completed.

"But now, the Ron B. series will be my primary project for the

"remainder of my life---whatever that happens to be.  My friends, from

"that time, often said, somewhat enviously, that they wished I had

"carried a camera then.  But photographs would have impede and

"inhibited my portraits of him in that setting, always in that setting, in

"all of its possible variations.  I worked from the most accute

"memories, that are always revolving through my mind.  Our steady

"dating raised eyebrows, stirred gossip, and received reprimands---from

"our parents, some teachers, and the entire coaching staff, to no avail

"whatsoever.  He threw a few punches, and swung a few fists, at a few of

"our classmates, until that sort of stupidity rapidly ceased.  He took me to

"our Junior and Senior proms---flaunting both traditional social

"assumptions, and the sartorial expectations of formal wear (having left

"his shoes on the floorboard of his car, which in no way detracted from

"his appearance in the most splendid tuxedo he could afford.  Two years

"after we graduated, several of the bullies (that had tried and---after his

"intervention---failed to harrass us in the school), having steeled their

"lack of couth and courage with booze at the sleaziest tavern in town,

"abducted him on one of the few nights when his work responsibilities

"lept us apart.  They took him, apparently bound and gagged, to a post in a

"field of autumn stubble, on one of the darkest backroads of the township, and

"shattered most of his bones, including those under his face, as they

"crushed the young life out of his gorgeous flesh.  Confessing to the

"murder, after apprehension, they avoided the death penalty:  life, or

"maybe just call it existence, without the least possibility of parole, as

"permanent residences of the state prison system.  Still, that has never

"seemed to be enough; and never will . . . ever . . . be enough.  And the

"Ron B. series will always bear witness to his beauty, my love for him, while

"triumphing over their terrible hatred of us because of the way we loved

"each other, according to our nature . . . ."




Author's Notes/Comments: 

After Constantine Cavafy's poems, "Craftsman Of Wine Bowls," and "Sculptor Of Tyana."

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