Mr. Letterman disappears

 

Mr. Letterman loved New York City, and he loved his profession. He had graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1966 and had worked for a year for the New York City Corporation Council’s office. He was a shy and friendly person and a very good lawyer. He certainly did not not have a reputation for aggressiveness, appearing almost apologetical as he was presenting his cases with a polite old-school manner. He did meticulous research and was a sharp analyst. Rudeness aggrieved him. He distinguished himself by winning his cases in an inexorably kind manner.

His parents had been doctors in Brooklyn. He had a sister who was almost 14 years his senior and who had taken over their parents medical practice as they both retired towards the end of his law school time. It had seemed a natural choice that he would do medical malpractice litigation but it had been too obvious a choice for him. Instead he had set up his offices in a small place near the Empire State building and had started to defend New York property owners in claims involving the wide range of problems the city dealt out to them on a daily basis: property damage, negligent hiring, inadequate security, lead poisoning, bodily injury on the premises, intentional assault, arson, and fraud. He was well known in his area of expertise, and he had seen every kind of  human misery conceivable. He was a New York lawyer.

He rarely met clients in his offices. Instead he preferred to sit by the window in a small coffeeshop until well after lunch time, taking notes while clients sat opposite him in the booth that was reserved for him on weekdays. After lunch he quietly slipped out of his booth, payed his bill, left a generous tip and crossed the street. On court days his booth remained empty. Afternoons and evenings he spent at the office working on legal briefs.

He led a typical New York life. If he made a lot of money he certainly did not show off or took a lot of time to spend it. In some ways his taste was very simple. He loved his coffee black, no sugar. He knew who he was and what he liked, but he did not need to talk about it.

He would never tire of his corner of the city. He thought the Empire State building was the world second most beautiful manmade sight. First was the Brooklyn bridge. He considered himself a man born at the right time in the right place.

In 1996, when I started as an intern at O´Leary and Letterman LLP I did not know any of this. In fact, I only knew Mr. Letterman by name, and I never met a staff member of an associate who seemed to have either met him or who had the willingness to share their knowledge if they were in possession of it. Over time I wondered if he even existed or if Mr. O´Leary had simply invented him for the sake of a better company name.

On the way to the Brooklyn Art Library, postmarked today, January 15th: Sketchbook “The Mechanics of Longing”

Time-delayed study of the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements

Brooklyn Art Library: The Sketchbook Project … to be postmarked by January 15th

http://www.sketchbookproject.com/brooklynartlibrary 

The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project and interactive, traveling exhibition of handmade books by the Brooklyn Art Library.

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This sketchbook titled “The Mechanics of Longing”  (working title) is going to be my second submission … to be postmarked by January 15th which actually means that I have to be finished by Sunday night. This submission is by far more ambitious than my previous selection to the Brooklyn Art Library, the simple childhood story “The Whisper”. I have come quite a distance, finally allowing myself to draw, to illustrate – the pages are in a narrative sequence, moving through time not just be the sequence of the pages turning which indicates the passing of time in almost any book but by the “time wheels” which on every page actually function as a clockwork of a fairly abstract idea of storytelling. The creatures still have a storybook like quality but are allowed to look much more sophisticated than before. To explain why that kind of art work seemed out of the question for me before is material for a separate blog post (I need to get back to drawing) but for now I am absolutely enchanted by the creatures appearing underneath my pen. I am still pushing my boundaries, exploring how far I think I can go without compromising artistic integrity. These don’t have to sell. They are allowed to breathe. So I can.Foto

The Twelve Nights of Christmas, the journey concluded: Night 12, the Mechanics of Longing

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The title came as swiftly as the image and the artist obeyed both. The Mechanics of Longing.

This drawing concludes my twelve night drawing meditation. As the new year is already starting to make its demands, these drawings carry with them 12 nights of focus on a non-revealed question. Sometimes during those twelve nights I felt I could catch a glimpse of things yet to be. Now there will be time to look at these pieces for a while, maybe polish them a bit.I’ll keep you posted.

New artistic challenges are ahead for the year.

January 15th is the deadline for another Sketchbook Project of the Brooklyn Art Llibrary, check out the website if you haven’t yet. Their digital library is stunning.

http://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/13754 The link will take you to my previous year contribution “The Whisper”, a simple, wistful story about a childhood memory.

My new book, a young adult science fiction novel, is about to be finished and another one waiting to be continued on my desk.

In Fall I hope to open an exhibition of 41 canvases, acrylic on raw jute canvas (aka coffee and chocolate bags) in Berlin, 30 of which are finished by now. The 12 nights have strengthened my will to continue living in multiple universes.

Thank you for following my blog, this certainly  is the day to acknowledge that my readers are an important part of my creative discipline. It is a good thought that someone may be going to weigh the outcome of a night’s work and maybe find some use for it, if only in the fleeting way that art, all art, can enrich a moment.

I am wishing you, my readers, all the courage, health and gladness necessary to live a meaningful New Year and if you should be lacking any one of these for some of all of the time the will to give it your best shot anyways!