Art Posts

Unlikely Friends in Lima

I arrived at Parque Kennedy hoping to come across or tune into some inspiration. Hope hard enough and sometimes the universe provides.

I found a nice bench, in the middle of the park, away from too much commotion. I got comfy, put my feet up and rested my sketchbook on my knees and began aimlessly working on the same palm tree that was no longer in front of me. I really couldn’t think of what to draw. Within about 5 minutes an older man approached me, for a change, one who was trying to sell me anything.

He came over and scolded me, in Spanish of course. He said something like, “How is an old man supposed to sit down on a bench when your feet are making it filthy?! I’m old, I need to sit!”. Never mind the fact that there were other benches and all these benches were far from spotless to begin with, I apologized and put my feet down. Then he sat down. He started talking to me a little bit. Told me how his father was French…or maybe half French…so he was really a foreigner just like me. He went on to complain about how Peruvians were too fat. (I wouldn’t say that he was all that slim, but whatever.)

He glanced down at my sketchbook and saw that I was drawing a tree. He said something along the lines of, “Why not draw me instead, I have a pretty face”. So I agreed to. He was a pretty good model, posed carefully and made sure not too move too much as he was talking to me. I ended up making him look a little younger and slimmer because it’s kind of awkward to draw someone’s wrinkles to their full extent…It was probably my first time drawing an older person’s portrait.

This old man was quite the extroverted social butterfly. He would try to say something to just about everyone who passed. At one point a Venezuelan woman and her teenage son stopped to admire the drawing session and he got to talking to them. He asked, “How long have you been dating?” They started cracking up and the woman replied, “He’s my son”. The old man laughed too and continued to talk their ears off. But about every 5 minutes after that, he would make another reference to them being romantically involved. He’d say, “You guys really are a beautiful couple”, and then the boy would die laughing and say, “Noooo, she’s my mom!” and then he’s be like, “But how long have you been together??” and we’d all laugh and give each other a look basically acknowledging that this wasn’t going to sink in for the old man.

Then a surfing instructor was riding by on his bike and noticed the gathering of laughing people so he figured he better stop by and offer his services. He Introduced himself and told us we could take his surfing class on this wonderfully grey, 60F degree day! As he introduced himself he shook each of our hands and when he shook the old man’s hand, the old man was not willing to let go. The surfing instructor was still straddling his bike and trying to jerk his hand free but the old man just kept holding on and laughing. Eventually though, he got his hand back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *