Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Artwork from Princess Alice

As I ordered my latte at Murky Coffee on Capitol Hill this morning, I noticed a short gnarled very old woman hunched over a notebook. Although her flowered clothes didn’t really match, they were clean and she had a tiny pink barrette in her hair. While I waited for my coffee, I saw her walk slowly using her metal cane over to the woman at the cash register, show her the notebook containing a small crudely drawn sketch entitled "leaves", and then walk out the front door.

After she left I inquired as to her story. The girl who prepared my coffee said, "Oh, that’s Alice. She comes in every day to sell her pictures. We have about 20 of them in the back. We give her a little something for them. Sometimes she has the smallest coffee, but she always insists on paying." As for the price of the drawings, she started at 50 cents and is now up to a dollar.

As I walked outside into the bright sunlight, I once again spied Alice who was showing her drawing to a couple who were drinking their coffee outside. I approached Alice and suggested that I might be interested in purchasing her latest. I could not understand one word she said, but she communicated that $1 was not the right price for this one. It was worth $2. As she ripped my original out of the steno pad, I noticed that there was another work in progress.

As I walked away, I noticed that my drawing was dated and signed "Princess Alice." I hope I will think of myself as a princess when I am 85 and failing to communicate. I hope I will find as clever a way to mingle with humanity and make a little money. I hope I will charm the people instead of annoying them the way the man just around the corner was doing with his hand out. "Leaves" by Princess Alice is truly an original.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Sue aka DRFS said...

I've been having a day worrying about all manner of idiotic things and for some reason, Princess Alice and her drawing makes me feel better...thanks for the story...

12:06 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

Aww! You talked to her! That is great. You probably made her day.

12:17 PM  
Blogger RennyBA said...

What a beautiful story and with a win-win ending. Thanks for sharing!

5:46 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Yes, you made her day, but I'm thinking it's more that she made yours!! If only she knew you honoured her as the subject of a wonderful post that rippled out to touch several others too! How precious is that?
It is amazing the people who connect with us in a seemingly small way, but with huge impact.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Why wait till you're 85? You can be Princess Barbara right now. Yes?? (Imagine me curtsying).

8:58 AM  
Blogger wharman said...

What a wonderful story.

1:29 PM  

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