I was in my third year of college in Detroit and in a design class that was taught by a total free spirit. She loved the challenge of design, making designs from anything and seeing the beauty of art in everything. I loved the class and the the professor, Patricia was amazing. She would come out for a cigarette with a few of us after class. She was older, she was highly educated and so out there that many of the students had a very hard time following her and understanding her instructions but I excelled because I understood her.
She used to tell us that design was all around us. She had us do elevations that inspired us, building facades that we really enjoyed but we were not supposed to do a floor plan. After we presented our elevations she had us put them on the table and study them. Study the lines and remember what it was about it that inspired us. She then had us put a layer of onion skin (a very thin sketching paper) over the elevation and told us to create a floor plan using the lines of the elevation. It was an amazing project and I had so much fun.
Another project was to take a bottle of ink, get an eye dropper and place two blobs of ink on a 2x2 square of paper and use something to spread the ink, anything. I used a drywall screw and started to move the ink around and she went crazy for it. That's the kind of person she was, pushing for us to see the beauty.
The class was about 20 of us, people I had seen before but in particular there were two other students there that got it as well. Two students I had never spoken to before because it seemed like we were just so different that we would never have anything to talk about. Even still I couldn't stop watching them I wanted to get to know them because they inspired me but I kept stopping myself. One day when I was out with Patricia having a smoke both of these student came out, one to smoke and one just to talk. Patricia got us all interacting and talking about design and life in general and both of these students were just as I imagined.
One was a daughter of Swedish hippies named Jana (pronounce Yana) and the other a guy named J.P. Yes, I did find J.P. incredibly attractive, he was creative, he was rugged and he was sexy but I wasn't able to concentrate on his rugged sexiness because he was such an amazing person. After that time we spent together outside we started talking more, I felt more comfortable talking with them during class and even outside of class. Eventually we all became pretty good friends and talked about more than just class. I had made friends and it was awesome.
We started going out to lunches after class, they had grown up in the area and knew all the little out of the way places to eat and took me to these places and shared their experiences. This was when I was introduced to sushi, it was amazing. Afterwards we would head to the mall and go to the Godiva store and each purchase one truffle as desert. These times we spent together meant so much to me. I told them both at lunch one day about how I wanted to get to know them both since the first day of class and how paralyzed I was that they would have nothing to do with me. They both just stared at me like I was crazy and it opened up a dialogue about life, college and human nature.
I do that often, I see interesting people that I think I would really like to get to know but I shy away thinking I won't be enough. I know it's crazy, but it's a part of who I am, a part I'm trying to work on.
I do miss those two, after graduation we just lost touch and everyone moved on with their lives and I can't seem to find either of them. I don't think they were meant to be in my life forever and I'm o.k. with that, they were there to teach me a lesson, a lesson I appreciate more than either of them could ever understand. It also makes me miss Patricia, she passed away during my senior year from brain cancer that she didn't know she had until it was too late.
Thank you Patricia, I wish I could have told you how much that class and our friendship meant to me. You are missed.