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When Worlds Collide

Maddie Strejc
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

The light passed through the leaves, hitting the grounds of Central Park as Heidi and her mother walked along the path. Heidi had never been to New York until now and was taking in her new surroundings with pleasure. As they walked through the park, Heidi noticed a woman sitting down. She had what appeared to be a sketchbook in her hands and was drawing something from the surrounding area. Heidi noticed as she watched the artist that she mainly kept to herself. If people came up to her and asked what she was doing, she would get frustrated and continue with her artwork. To Heidi, it was odd because she was so used to talking to anyone who came up to her and in fact, enjoyed meeting new people. Despite this, she was still fascinated with the artist’s work because she herself had difficulty doing visual-spatial tasks, like drawing. Although it was clear that this artist was not too keen on social interaction, Heidi wanted to talk to her to see what she was working on.

Heidi walked up to the artist with a warm smile, greeting her with a friendly,

“Hello, how are you today?” Heidi adjusted her glasses as she eagerly awaited a response.

“I’m fine”, Jessy responded, barely making eye contact and not stopping her work.

That was kind of a harsh greeting, thought Heidi.

“It is my first time in New York and Central Park is so beautiful. What are you working on?” Heidi asked.

“Please don’t ask me questions right now”, Jessy retorted. “I’m trying to work”.

“Alright, fine. I just wanted to be friendly”, Heidi stated.

Did I say something wrong? I was just asking what she was doing. I did not think anything I said was offensive. I wonder what is wrong. Maybe she is just having a bad day? I should give her some space, as she clearly does not want me here. Then again, I want to observe her artistic abilities because I am so intrigued by them. I’ll try talking to her again. It seems she may just not be that social and that is ok because everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, just like me.

“I wanted to apologize about earlier. I did not mean to aggravate you. I was just curious about your art because I have difficulties with tasks like drawing and math. I am really bad at math. Let us start over. My name is Heidi and you are?”

“My name is Jessy”, she responded abruptly.

Still avoiding eye contact. Okay. No matter, at least she does not seem angry with me. I am just trying to be as friendly as possible.

“Okay, Jessy, that is a very nice name. How long have you been making artwork like this?”, Heidi asked as she pointed to the sketchpad in Jessy’s lap.

“Since I was a kid, I always drew. I drew suns and I would draw other things too”, Jessy remarked, sort of smiling as she did so.

I got her to smile? I still do not know as to why she is not looking at me when she speaks. When you talk to other people you should look at them. Maybe she is still irritated with me. Should I go? No, I am determined to make a new friend.

“You are a very good artist,” Heidi said as she leaned over to see the sketchpad.

“Thanks”, Jessy said.

This conversation is not going as I anticipated.

“You do not seem like a very social person. I do not mean to be offensive, but I always talk to people, as you can probably tell. I like to say there are no strangers, only friends”, Heidi exclaimed and then asked, “Are you drawing buildings?”

“Yes”, Jessy responded back.

“Why do you draw buildings and not other things in the park, like that pathway or the people playing in the grass?”, Heidi asked.

“I can see the buildings along the street from here”, Jessy said.
She is very abrupt and I am curious as to why she keeps making these movements, too. They do not seem to be coordinated with when she speaks.

“You don’t have the bottom of your paintings, why is that?”, Heidi remarked.

“I like to paint the sky. I like to paint galaxies in them”, Jessy said, sounding a little more enthusiastic than before.
I think I finally got her to talk about what she really likes in these paintings. She seems more enthusiastic than before, but still not like I myself would get excited about something. It’s okay, though. We all have different mannerisms. She seems nice enough; it just appears that she has trouble really expressing her emotions when she speaks.

“Well, it was very nice talking to you. My mom is calling me now. Have a nice day”, Heidi said as she extended her hand to say goodbye.

Jessy looked at Heidi’s outstretched hand and instead simply said, “Goodbye, it was nice talking to you.”
It was nice talking to you, too. Heidi thought as she walked away with her mom.


Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College.

Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.