On Hold

This piece took 38 minutes.  How do I know? I know this because my phone system told me so.

I was on hold with the phone company, because for the third time this year our fax line was having “outside issues” and faxes were dying in transit.  If I happen to be holding a pen while on the phone, I doodle, as many people do.  Usually the wait is not so long, and at most I cover an area about three inches square.  I usually start with some sort of wavy squiggle, then repeat the pattern just a bit offset until I run out of space.  Then I start to crosshatch the remaining white space… then crosshatch over that again… and by the time I finish, the area is solid black.  If the pen is especially inky or the paper thin, I sometimes burn right through the sheet.

This time around I started with a really big wavy shape, sort of like the number “2” and off that tail made a big igloo shape…. perhaps you can make those out.  Today I knew I was in for a long wait, so decided to do the offset line thing over as much space as I could.  I added some flower shapes, a bee, a snake, an eagle’s head, some clouds and a sun, even an elephant’s head and a sort of African tribal mask.  Next to the bee I did some free form honeycomb shapes.  I had perhaps 85% of the sheet covered by the time I hung up, and decided to zip out the rest (the lower left corner) and completely fill the page.  I even worked in a signature.

My kids thought this was the coolest thing ever, and started on their own versions… my wife on the other hand declared “that’s like something a crazy person would do!”



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