When I was a child, long before I learned that I had not been blessed with any artistic talent, I used to watch the British television show Art Attack religiously. I would lye on my belly on the rug in my grandparent’s living room watching Neil create such amazing things. It was my favourite show.
Most of the crafts he would make were far beyond my capabilities and resources. What the hell was papier-mâché, anyway? The day my grandmother would allow me to mix glue and water and whatever else went into it to create some messy paste, was a day I knew would never come. I did manage, however, to convince her to find me some crayons so I could at least attempt the drawing activities.
My cookie tin of crayons of assorted colours and brands became my most prized possession. Although I never did excel at colouring, or shading, or drawing, I loved my crayons just the same. But as time went on, I began to worry that they would run out. I couldn’t bear it. In my mind, all of my crayons had names (usually on their label, but sometimes I had to provide them), ages (based on height, of course), and even families within the cookie tin community.
Eventually the colouring stopped all together, to preserve my now perfect mix of crayons. I still played with them every day, though. I preferred them to my other toys, like my Barbies. Barbies were all the same-aged females. I only had one Ken. It was boring. My crayons had substance.
One day, I overheard my older brother and cousin talking when they thought I was out of earshot.
“What’s your sister drawing?” Asked Francy.
“She doesn’t draw,” replied my snot-nosed six-year-old sibling. “She just talks to her crayons.”
“What?!” Francy replied, and they both cackled wildly at my expense. Then they went upstairs to play some big-kid games.
I was left shocked. Absolutely dismayed. Such blasphemy being spread, by my own flesh and blood! The nerve of him. What a ridiculous accusation! He thought I talked to my crayons?! Did he think I was nuts?! Obviously, I didn’t talk to my crayons. Why on Earth would I!? Crayons were inanimate pieces of colourful wax that were clearly incapable of upholding a conversation. Talking to them would be quite an idiotic act.
No, I did not speak to my crayons.
I spoke for them.