I wonder if I kept that

self-portrait from my

first college art class, contour


in pencil, peering

into a mirror, rough sketch

bond. Dave Barr, he would


have to be what, in

his seventies by now, my

first acquaintance with


a practicing artist, one

with a studio

and ideas that woke him up


mornings. The twist, I

recall, was to render one's

face as it might look


forty years in the future,

warts and all as they

say. As if by magic I've


arrived, suddenly,

at my destination, the

one I predicted


using only line to map

sagging jowls, face etched

and a nose grown to epic


proportion. At least

that's how I remember it,

a masterpiece of


draftsmanship that captured the

soul of its subject,

a man rendered in short hand,


his gaze bewildered

when I was going for a

bemused detachment.