Aaron heard once in a sermon that people are like buildings. They have walls and windows and doors. Most people know where their walls are and where the windows and doors fit in, but Aaron no longer had any sense of that.
He had a photo in his wallet he kept pulling out of his family when his brother was still alive. The boys are about eight and ten years old and stand next to their parents on the front porch of their house dressed for Easter Sunday. His mother wears a blue hat that matches her dress, and the boys and their father wear suits and ties.
Aaron stares at his family wondering who took the photo. The light on the house was brightest early in the morning, and they squint as the photo is taken. Had a neighbor come over, who would be there that time of day? The question popped around in Aaron’s brain like a pinball inside a machine. He closed his eyes trying to remember who took the shot.
“Excuse me, ” a voice said.
Aaron turned to see John Mason, the teacher in the art class.
“I was wondering if these belong to you,” Mason said.
In his hands were the drawings Aaron had stashed beneath the couch. Aaron looked at the drawings, not knowing what to say.
“I don’t know why I’ve hung on to those,” Aaron said. “I hope you don’t mind. They aren’t even half finished. I sometimes draw in your class after I get off work.”
Mason looked from the drawings into Aaron’s face. It was as if two windows had been raised in two houses that had been standing next to each other for years. Aaron and Mason looked at each other wondering how they’d never met.
“One of the other teachers saw you leaving the classroom late one night. Do you have any more? Did you ever think of drawing larger?” Mason asked.
Mason’s students didn’t know how to fill a canvas or a page, but here was a man whose drawings ran off the edges of the paper.
“I was wondering who this is,” Mason said.
“That’s my father after we moved here, during the years he worked at the Tribune.”
Mason pulled out another drawing. “What would you have drawn in this corner if the paper had been wider?”
Aaron looked at a drawing of a room where clothes lay smoothed out on a dresser table.
“My mother,” Aaron said. “On the other side of the room was my mother.”