The Revolving Door
The following is an excerpt from chapter twenty-one, Donatello Draws.
The slight, scratching, frantic sounds of flurry increase from the recess of an unknown distance as Tiziano lays me back down on the soft support of my bed. He takes off my blindfold.
Past Tiziano’s heaving chest and Adams apple, I glimpse Donatello. He is radiant by the window. He is smiling. He is as formal as a painter in the eighteenth century, in his suit and his tie. His hand on his lap is moving rapidly around.
He is detailing our positions. Donatello draws.
Donatello draws twenty-four line renderings in a blue Bic pen on white computer paper.
Tiziano and I are spent. We ask Donatello if we can view the drawings and spread the eight by ten sheets on the floor of my bedroom.
The series of drawings begin with many lines, scribbles and a consciousness of the task parallel to the overview our performance was eliciting.
My arm is tucked under my breast as my ass recedes in three-point perspective from the splay of my thighs. A seed-like circle with an off center polka dot rests equidistant between hips, pushed down by the flatness of a disembodied hand.
Quick tapping strokes described the hair at the base of Tiziano’s spine as three spiky fingers slit a crevice.
His arm under the crook of my knee proffers my ass to a waiting lap, far off the page.
Rude headless fish swim to overpower the defenseless back held aloft by the straight lines of his arms. The slope at the base of his ribcage flies off to join the bowl of my legs spread corner to corner.
My haircut describes me, as do my heels. Donatello captured the lofty stiletto arches and the manner in which they flay in the air like crows mocking a dog.
The bumps of Tiziano’s spine are curves dropped on a diagonal.
The fifth page is scribed presenza.
The edges are redrawn, corrected and signed with a swirl of pubic hair.
As our bodies draw near to Donatello’s hand, the depiction relaxes and gestures overrides detail. Yet he takes time to fill in the stockings, to scrawl a covering up and down my legs.
Number thirteen is exceptionally beautiful. There is a minimum of lines, a circle, a long teardrop and a wavy, tenuous motion.
A sense of urgency reduces the message of the electric blue line until finally in one, two, three pages, Tiziano’s back rises up and his body thrusts down deep into an unseen crevice on a page behind this one and the ones after.
The next page is languorous, a Chagallesque profile with a Guernican tongue. Tiziano’s hand caresses the curve of obeisance along the small of my back and his foreshortened figure crosses the paper from bottom left to top right. His head is flung back to turn the next page.
His legs are akimbo, trembling and loose with a bone in the mouth of a guppy. Between this drawing, number twenty-two and the next, number twenty-three - Tiziano comes.
In drawing number twenty-three, Donatello draws pants, still fettering the ankles, with the flap of belt and the bottom of heel, with no face, arms, torso or belly, just a penis hanging limp, upside down and fluttery.
The last page is me. I’m flicking a stiletto at the eye of the camera with my arm overhead in a pin-up girl pose. I am facing the viewer, without eyes, nose or mouth but my expression is telling.