Dibujar con Milagros

Dibujar con Milagros

A muy pequeño graphic novel

I woke up early to the sound of birds chirping outside my hostel window. I dressed quickly, and headed out the door to make my way up the cobblestone streets of Cusco, out to the edge of town, and continuing along a dirt road from there.

I picked up this striped rock for my striped rock collection.

And this one, too, because I thought it was pretty.

I retraced my steps back to the center of town, and settled in at a café overlooking the town square to have a coffee and do a little sketching.

I chose to sketch the rooftop of a house a little ways off in the distance.

After a short while, the owner of the café came and stood in the doorway right next to me. We chatted a bit about the weather, the town, her work in the café.

And then a little girl appeared in the doorway. The owner’s daughter, Milagros.

She had beautiful rosy cheeks.

And she was wearing a bright red wool hat.

In her hand, a Barbie Doll with legs a mile long stretching from the tiny mini skirt.

I thought, “Damn you, Mattel; as if giving American girls a complex about what beauty is wasn’t enough.”

Milagros glanced at my sketch, then scanned the square before looking up at her mother.

“Look,” she said, “She’s drawing the roof!”

I asked Milagros a bunch of questions. With each question, she inched closer to my table until she was leaning on it with her elbows. Her mother disappeared into the café.

I asked Milagros if she would help me finish my drawing. She said she didn’t know how to draw, but I said it didn’t matter. I pulled a pen out of my case and handed it to her.

I drew the cacti that towered over the rooftop and told her that she would draw in the shadows.

I didn’t know how to say crosshatch or pointilism, but I used a little circumlocution to explain los dos métodos.

Método uno: “Haga líneas diagonales hacia la derecha..

..y después hacia la izquierda.”

Método dos: “Haga puntos.”

She preferred the puntos.

And then there were the flowers. Five of them.

I drew the first.

Milagros drew the other four.

I said to her: “Ahora tenemos que firmar. Todos los artistas firman sus obras.”

So we each wrote our names on the back.

 I gave her the drawing.

And the pen.

She gave me a smile that will warm my heart. Always.

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