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Growing Flowers in the Desert; GLD and Cristo; a few days before New Year's
Topic Started: Aug 9 2016, 05:00 PM (114 Views)
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((Cristóbal Morales continued from Land of Milk and Honey, Don't Fail Me Now))

Any proper New Year's Eve ought to have snow, Cristo had often thought, though Kingman's rarely did. It was also not quite New Year's Eve anyway, and snow and ice would have undoubtedly made the roads more treacherous than anyone wanted to deal with at night. So all in all, it was less of a problem than it would be if there actually was snow, but the late December evening found itself lacking in a certain aesthetic quality all the same.

The days between Christmas and New Year's were dreary, just short of a week's worth of time for Kingman to get over its collective hangover and/or religious fervor just in time to do it all again. Cristóbal, being neither the drinking nor the devout type, was an outside observer to this as he was to most things Kingman did collectively. (With the exception of the dressing-down his Abuelita had given Dominic and some of his buddies concerning the suspicious eggnog that had appeared in their fridge on Christmas Eve. And even then, he hadn't been allowed any of the eggnog. Even the Kingman police force knew better than to cross Rosa Morales where some things were concerned.)

Regardless, there was no snow, it was not quite New Year's, the evening was gray, and Cristo himself silent as he waited on the front steps of his porch for his ride to arrive. Every year, the athletics department made some token effort to host a Christmas or New Year's or Generic Winter Holiday's social for its teams in an effort to bring together teammates who might not have seen each other over the break, and to remind those prone to slacking on their workouts that their grace period was just about to end. Cristo had found himself without transportation options for the evening, thanks to the family car deciding sometime last week that this winter was going to be its last, and Dominic unable to step in as chauffeur thanks to work.

Word of his predicament had gotten around, as things did among the baseball and softball teams, and Cristo's salvation had presented itself in the form of one Georgia Lee Day, who had informed him in a businesslike manner that his house was on the way to the school, and she didn't mind at all if he wanted a lift. He didn't know her well, but he knew of her; they didn't live far from each other, in fact. He knew her house as the small one with the slightly lopsided porch and the charmingly wild back garden, and he saw her from time to time when she went running around the neighborhood. There used to be many other girls coming and going, but now he thought that there was only one older sister remaining, and she was often out. He didn't think he'd ever seen Georgia Lee leaving or returning with her.

He sometimes wondered, when pondering other people's lives, if they looked into his own and wondered about it the same way he did to them.

This time, however, Georgia Lee's car pulled up to the curb before that train of thought could fully get in gear, and it felt rude to speculate about someone's personal life right in their presence, so he stood and smiled instead, and said "Hi, thanks for doing this," when he pulled open the passenger-side door and slid in. The inside of Georgia Lee's car was just as well-kept as one would have imagined, not even a stray textbook or paper to be seen. Compared to the clutter of his... well, his everything, it was unusual. The car felt very spacious without anything just laying around, and very much like he shouldn't touch anything at all.

Instead, he folded his hands in his lap and leaned back in his seat, leaving it up to her if she wanted to break the silence or not.
"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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Cristo was embarrassed to admit that he was a little startled when Georgia Lee spoke up. He'd been comfortable enough with the quiet between them and her music playing low, and had zoned out somewhat just looking out the window.

"O-oh, yeah," he said, hoping he didn't seem like too much of a dolt for stumbling over his words. "Sorry, I kind of drifted off for a minute there... But yeah, I think the dinner will be fun. Catching up with everyone and all..." He trailed off, unsure of where to continue with that. He kept up with his teammates while school was out, of course, and he was sure that Georgia Lee did the same, but tagging people on Facebook or Instagram and seeing them face to face were different things.

It was unfortunate that Cristóbal was usually such a poor conversationalist; he was sure that Georgia Lee would be both interesting and enjoyable to talk to, if he ever actually got around to it. He meant that entirely as someone who was interested in a potential friend, not a boy looking for an excuse to engage with a pretty girl, but bringing that up would surely have the opposite effect to setting either one of them at ease. Better to let her carry on the conversation if she wished.
"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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