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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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((Cristóbal Morales continued from Driving Me Crazy))

Cristo toyed with the volume dial of his iPod with one hand and twisted the cord of his earbuds with the other, both unconscious actions. He was more concentrated on the music than what he was doing with his hands; a few nights ago, he'd downloaded some piano covers of his favorite songs off of YouTube, to give him an auditory in addition to the sheet music he'd found. Questionable legality aside, he was pretty confident that listening to the covers outside of practicing them was helping to train his ear to the different parts.

He'd decided to get outside this afternoon instead of sitting in the house just listening to music. It was a beautiful day, bright and sunny with a few spots of cloud drifting over now and again. His iPod was an old, slightly battered model, but it still had a good battery life and he'd felt content to wander the park for a while without worrying that it would run out. He'd strolled for a bit and was now seated on the grass, back against a tree, to watch the occasional other visitors to the park go by.

He'd wonder about them as they passed; where they came from, where they were going, what they were thinking about. There goes a woman with a scarf but no sunglasses - does she not mind the heat and the sun? Is there something on her neck that she wants to cover? A scar? The hickey her boyfriend or girlfriend gave her last night?

There's a guy jogging by, running shorts and no shirt. He's probably just accounting for the heat, but maybe he wants to show off those tattoos. Maybe he's hoping there's someone here who will find him attractive. Maybe he used to be out of shape and he's showing off for himself now more than anyone else.

Cristóbal couldn't say that he knew a lot about people or was particularly good at interacting with them, but they fascinated him. So he watched them go by contentedly, absently mouthing the words to some My Chemical Romance song and wondering about the people who passed him.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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I could live in the world just like a stranger · Liberty Park