-  Fiction - The Formiidable Adherence









In Memory
Sean Pettibone



The Formidable Adherence

I watched cautiously as she walked outside the room containing her assembled books. Looking back, they appeared to submerge deeper into the walls, quickly hiding their contents from view. Their sudden disappearance was unnerving as the covered themselves quickly before hiding furtively within the walls without pretext. I wasn't sure why they'd taken such a secretive tactic. I watched as she stood expectantly at the edge beneath the corridor's entry. She was waiting for me patiently but wasn't going to stand there forever. I knew it was time to shake my inertia. Relieved that she shook me from beneath the book's underlying deceptive spell, I remained puzzled by its origins and meaning, I couldn't escape wondering what it meant and why she'd picked it out for me. The volume's purpose and meaning remained elusive, it appeeared to contain an unspoken confluence, accompanying coherence and determined precision about it's context that I couldn't tangibly understand or explain.

In a furtive contradiction on her part that I couldn't easily reconcile. Despite my extensive and sustained efforts at decoding it's multi-layered, confusing imagery, Germine had unexpectedly decided that she'd either picked the wrong book for me to read or that it was simply beyond my comprehension. Regardless of motivation, she'd decided to move beyond its pages, moving onward without elaboration. Somewhat reluctantly, I began gradually walking towards the tenuous opening, before I stood close by her side a couple fee000t away from her. At that point, she paused her excursion into the tower and looked in my direction carefully, Taken to distraction by an inherent aspect within me. She looked with an inquisitive viewpoint, her eyes intently focused in my direction. I found her examination somewhat unnerving but she maintained a steady gaze, looking at me with concentrated focus, peering into my defensive formulation using only her eyes.

Standing in place reflexively, I tried not to move, hardly flinching while she visually measured me and arrived at her determination. I was somewhat terrified that something had gone astray, that I'd unintentionally done something wrong. After a several uneasy moments, she nodded in approximate approval. I was relived, my shoulders relaxed. Relieved significantly, I made a pronounced move outside her immediate gaze. She appeared somewhat reassured with my passive inclination after taking a prolonged yet relatively unobtrusive contemplation. The walls surrounding us drew apart, losing their constrictive hold and gradually began moving further beyond the doorway, forging confidently past her concerns. I remained slightly unsure, my movement remained defensive and a tad stilted, An uncomfortably close examination was an unnerving tactic on her part that I hadn't anticipated. However, I trusted her instincts to an extent and allowed her incursion. After several uneasy moments, Gemine appeared to relax her guard, She turned around and began confidently walking into the expanse, her concerns alleviated. I began nervously following Gemine's path from behind, watching her carefully, with no indication of precisely what she planned. It took me a moment to catch up to her led to an unlikely realization I hadn't anticipated. Arriving at a closer proximity to her location, I noticed she'd taken on an unforeseen, divergent disposition.

I wasn't expecting a such a careful examination on her part. She looked me over quite thoroughly, scanning up and down, searching for something undefined. I wasn't expecting her to watch me quite so closely, observing me with greater detail than I was accustomed. After a several minutes, I detected an counter-intuitive measure of disappointment, but it wasn't entirely clear what had caused her dismay, but it was evident in her fallow expression, and sloping body language. I wasn't sure what I could have done wrong but she didn't say a word. I didn't understand how I could have fallen short of her expectations. She took another measure of me and waved her hands quickly ahead, seeming to dismiss her concerns, or finding them not that important. She turned around and began walking into the corridors decisively. Resuming her mission, Gemine walked eastward down the path, moving unobtruded across the pristine surface effortlessly and silently.

Her surreptitious maneuverings allowed her to forge ahead in a clandestine manner, not elaborating, leaving me wondering what, if anything, I'd done wrong. She followed an elaborate yet straightforward path through the constricted corridor. Following an intuitive path in front of her that wasn't easy to follow. We encountered several sharp turns and tilted angles that appeared to arrive unexpectedly within the tower's confines. The earlier section slid from view until it almost completely disappeared from view. Before it vanished completely from sight, I took a step back and I looked took, allowing myself one last reinforcing glance at its diminishing outline. My eyes sharpened as I surveyed the shrinking door leading to the inner sanctum. It reinforced its shrouded appearance as we drifted from its immediate circumference. It stood at a remove, mutely protecting the collected books within its walls.

The room's silent resolve and accompanying static repose wasn't surprising. The quickly distancing area hadn't responded in any tangible manner to our sudden departure, remaining unmoved by our movement outside its immediate area. I half-expected the doorway to close behind us, but I detected no such activity. I was taken aback, and felt somewhat disoriented by how quickly it seemed to have forgotten us. Somehow, I felt a deeper connection to the section, but my emotional reaction wasn't reciprocated. Perhaps, I'd grown too attached to that place. It was probably for the best that she'd nudged me into escaping it's mesmerizing pull. Gemine didn't look back, instead drawing forward with a seeming sense of inevitability, undeterred from her steady path. Walking quickly over the flat surface, unimpeded by any barriers, she maintained a steady pace during her journey. I fell behind when I took even a brief interval to recount our recent encounter. She wasn't distracted by the same force and proceeded into the straight corridors unimpeded without articulating anything resembling a tangible motivation. Her strident footsteps were the only sounds that could be heard. I felt myself falling behind and had to refocus my attention quickly. I resolutely recalibrated and turned around, once more finding myself facing directly ahead, in her direction.

I knelt down quickly and sprinted ahead into the corridor once more, hoping to catch her quickly. I wasn't going to let Gemine slip from sight. It took some effort to recapture momentum but I was able to bring myself back into pace with some effort. She continued walking down the pristine path without looking back in my direction or pausing to let me catch my breath. Gemine travelled an extensive distance down the long corridor for a lengthy period until arriving at a demonstrably different area. It was slightly brighter than the majority of the previous sectors and felt slightly elevated. It appeared the walkway had sloped upward gradually. It wasn't immediately clear what awaited us in that particular section, there were no visible openings or doors, the surface walls were sharply indicated, forming an unapproachable mass, scaling inexorably upward on all sides. We'd reached an unscalable barrier, the walls surrounding us didn't give any indication of any sort of relief. She stood her ground against the immovable structure in her path, refusing to accept their strenuous denial. Lacking the physical machine and artificial assistance I was accustomed to, I watched with manifest curiosity as she embarked on a distinctly more natural path. Gemine followed her inherent instincts and subconscious. She examined the surroundings implanting a divergent, yet equally effective approach.

I stood back several paces behind her, not confident exactly what she intended to do about the sudden blockage we faced. My initial thought was that we should turn back, retrace our steps and follow a different path. It didn't seem like we'd be able to move further into the corridor, our path was intractably blocked with no tangible way forward. I waited for her to respond to that implacable situation, but she stood in silent defiance. She didn't give an inch, despite the fact that the walls appeared to be closing inward rapidly. It felt like we'd rushed into a trap of unknown design, reaching an enduring enclosure that imperceptivity closed-in on our position, gradually surrounding us while we were distracted by our search.

She didn't make any sudden movements but slowly came to a potential resolution. Gemine walked slowly in my direction and unexpectedly turned her attention eastward. She stared directly into the corridor's unadorned surface. There were no markings, symbols or indications in sight, the uniform appearance gave no clue as to what my have lurked beyond the intransient hallway. It seemed to slip into a determined posture, unwilling to reveal anything within its surface. She determined a more pronounced course of action, though not with the expected velocity a convergent beam of light would provide. She brushed the walls using only her bare, yet remarkably nimble fingers. Working with unexpected efficiency, her capable hands allowed her a great deal of flexibility, she didn't need to follow a machine's rigid path allowing her to move beyond fallow sections quickly. Her instincts were to follow the corridor's vantage. She'd been ensconced within the tower for an extended period and determined to use that to her advantage despite her unfamiliarity of the immediate area she hadn't encountered yet.

Patiently, Gemine examined the surface, apparently searching for any kind of fault or breach we could use. Carefully, I watched her fingers as they began cautiously reaching across their surface. She methodically slid her hands over and across the unmarked surface slowly in a visible pattern, systematically looking for any sign of weakness in its defenses. Gemine appeared determined and resolute, sure that we'd arrived at the correct location. I waited in the background, not wanting to interfere with her intensive examination of the surroundings. I grew a bit nervous as the space shrank a little, but realized that my perspective might have become flawed after expending inordinate effort traversing the monotonous corridors. There was no indication of distance, length or space marked on the walls, which quickly became disorienting for me. She was unswayed by the visual deception and maintained an unspoken equilibrium, focusing the majority of her attention on locating anything that might pierce the corridor's unrelenting surface. Moving with steady precision, she walked slowly across the surface, moving her fingers across the surface consistently, not wanting to rush and overlook something important. It appeared to be an unproductive strategy, her efforts revealed almost nothing despite her concerted effort and comprehensive approach

Her proficient convergence across the surface walls made it difficult for me to determine precisely how much longer it would take for Gemine to locate her objective. She continued at a steady pace until she unexpectedly stopped. She held her hands still over a precise location on the walls, standing firm directly in front of the area. Blocking the section, I couldn't see precisely what was occurring, I wanted to take several steps closer in order to get a better view but didn't want to interfere. Instead, I watched carefully, attempting to discern exactly what she'd uncovered hiding within the corridor's flat surface. She waited carefully and there wasn't a visible response at first. Moving closer, she held her hand closer to the exterior, pressing it firmly against the surface with reinvigorated force. She appeared to sense, intrinsically that she was in the right place, the resulting interval was merely a pretext. Taking half-a-step closer while holding back out of residual consternation, I observed a subtle change. The imposing wall began gradually shifting in place and appeared to shift position slightly.

It began tilting noticeably inward pointing into a downward slope. This opening reluctantly revealing unexpected vulnerability and opportunity. I wasn't sure how precisely she was able to locate the emergent opening or how she was able to coax it into view. Her precise methods remained hidden but I wasn't about to start questioning her capabilities. A narrow entrance silently widened, opening just enough that might allow one of us to pass through. She stood outside of the breach, surveying it nervously, unsure of what awaited us on the other side. Taking another pace closer, I peered into the darkened entrance with uncertainty, unable to see anything within the enclosure. Gemine waited at its edge for several minutes, until she eventually decided to push through the narrow entrance. She had to turn sideways in order to navigate the narrow entrance but she was able to pass through. Gemine slipped into the dark interior silently and I stood outside, hoping for her to proceed safely while remaining unsure if I should follow her lead. I watched carefully for a short time and listened for any sounds that might indicate what was occurring.

There was no response from within the passage, which caused increasing concern. Waiting for several minutes led me to ponder a range of possibilities, but nothing firm came into view. I kept a resolutely steady focus on the narrow pathway until a sudden burst of light emerged from within unexpectedly. Arriving without forbearance, the bright, crisp illumination made quick work of any lingering reluctance. Taking a step closer, it appeared the path had been purposely lit; the path for me to follow was bright and crisp, its mirror image. Venturing towards the passage in order to take a closer look, I was surprised by its consistency. The inner room mirrored the outer corridor once fully illuminated. Its sharply defined surface flawlessly reflecting the corridor's exterior structure and design. I was enticed by its familiar design but remained somewhat reluctant to venture within. I didn't want to make an unwelcome incursion, worrying that she might want to explore this area on her own. I didn't want to make a mistake, and remained at a distance, unsure whether to proceed. I stood guard at safe remove and waited for any tangible signal. Several uneasy moments followed until I received a response from an unmistakable voice. A shadow emerged from within the room. I recognized the silhouette of an immediately familiar figure, as she motioned for me to move within, past the breach and join her.

Hesitating for a moment, I decided relatively quickly to follow her into the path. It was narrower than anticipated, and I had to move carefully in order to squeeze my way past the narrow opening. It was surprisingly difficult to avoid the walls, I wanted to avoid detrimental contact, since any scrapes would be obvious. I worked quickly and soon reached an expanse at the end of the short path. The path diverged, then opened up quickly at its destination to reveal a small rom unfolding within. It was surprisingly constricted, its ceilings lower than the surrounding corridor, its sixes narrow and straight. Gemine stood within its incipient engaging surroundings, patiently awaiting my arrival. I noticed that a number of unmarked cases were carefully placed along the sides of the room, and couldn't see what was hidden within. I didn't understand what they were doing there or what purpose they might have. Stepping towards them nervously, I attempted to look inside them. Unfortunately, they were firmly sealed shut with no apparent method that would easily open them. It seemed I'd solved on puzzle only to encounter another immediate following. I found this frustrating and annoying but Gemine didn't seem overly discouraged by the subsequent defense. She looked across and began hastily searching the accompanying area with determination, her hands gliding in precise motions. It took several minutes but she eventually located what she was searching for. She walked over to the object quickly and took hold of it. Its pieces nearly spilled out, and it took some effort on her part to keep them together.

The object appeared to consist of a jumbled mess of disorganized pieces, scattered out of sequence without order. The cluttered array of wooden beams, thin particle-board alongside thicker tablets appeared to mix incompatible pieces extending into multiple partitions. Its pieces appeared to be broken, it wasn't immediately obvious whether they'd be able connect to each other. Even if there were matching pieces, it wasn't clear whether they'd amount to anything is they could be constructed into a cohesive form. She managed to hold the unstable pieces together long enough to reach the room's center. She dropped the pieces on the ground and began looking at them carefully. Pulling them out one at a time to examine each one before placing them back on the ground in approximate order. I wasn't sure why she'd taken on such a seemingly intractable effort but decided that I'd expended enough effort just watching her from a distance. I moved ahead and looked at the pieces. They seemed to over-run one another and were placed in disarray, but certain aspects came into view as I examined them closely. My eyes cycled through them looking for a starting point, but I was getting nowhere, I looked in her direction for some guidance and notices she was holding one of the thick wooden slates aloft. She held it upwards and looked at it carefully before allowing a hidden section to unfold, doubling its size. She seemed pleased and placed it standing upwards to one side and began further excavations of the pile. It seemed that Gemine was building something important to her. Inspired by her unexpected discovery.

I carefully examined and looked over the remaining pieces, hoping to solve another part of the puzzle. Most of the parts on the ground appeared indistinct, but I managed to figure out how they might have connected, at least in theory. Quickly deciding on a specific piece, I took hold of a longer stretch of wood and turned it upward, steadying it with a smaller base, I connected the parts until they formed a stabilized structure. I watched the tentatively assembled pieces carefully for a few moments until it was able to holding itself upright firmly, balancing on its own. She managed to find a connecting piece quickly, the lower portion quickly took on a bevel form, resulting in slender support. We pulled out a longer piece almost at the same time and place it directly above the portion and fastened it slightly against the support beam, detangling the tangled wires until they wrapped around the inner pole. We worked quickly from that point, systematically working cooperatively as the object began to take shape. After several additional pieces accumulated quickly.

Looking over its rough edges, the emergent object began to form a surprisingly familiar form; unexpectedly coalescing into an easel. It took surprisingly little effort after we assembled the initial structure fully form its completed structure. There were a few extra parts and non-essential portions but we quickly put those to the side. It didn't take long before the easel was purportedly completed, but there was something missing. I couldn't quite figure out what it might have been at first. Looking it over carefully, I gradually came to realize exactly what we'd managed to overlook. When I walked closer, I noticed something amiss. There weren't any tools to use or create and no accompanying canvas to utilize with any sort of imprint. It appeared somewhat redundant without those imperatives. In a strange confluence, the easel seemed to serve no immediate purpose by itself. I wondered why we'd expended our efforts building the stand. Standing adrift, the empty canvas appeared incongruously out-of-place, an blank, glaring back at us fro the luminous room's central location, filling the expanse without elucidating the surroundings.

It wasn't immediately clear how we'd reconcile the disorienting position but Gemine made an immediate connection within the room itself. She walked towards the side of the room and began examining the boxes laid out on the floor, opening them one-by-one. She didn't find much aside from a few loose nails, scattered underpinnings and fragmented assemblages of screws. Subsequent boxes revealed little that could be of use, but she kept at it, going through the boxes systematically. After working through a series of largely empty containers, she finally found some that contained a few rough pencils and pens. They weren't new and many of the drawing pencils seemed rough or otherwise depleted. However, several of these devices had enough filling that they cold be of some use. She took the box from its position and placed it near the easel; and told me to start organizing them into useful and empty piles. I managed to work through them quickly, determining their usefulness by how much ink remained at their top. I was able to sort through them and managed to get half-way though the pile when I heard a sudden commotion, it seemed Gemine had located something she looked through another box. I heard a rustling noise and looked over somewhat surprised by what she found. Gemine unrolled a long sheet of papers, carefully folded unobtrusively within an nondescript container. She placed the unfurled pages directly on the easel's face.

I observed from that pronounced distance that the unspooled pages appeared largely unused, appearing surprisingly robust, their edges sharp and the pages firm. They'd managed to prevail without suffering any visible yellowing or significant discoloring, resisting they expected effects of age and neglect. Placed on the easel after an extended slumber, the long-dormant pages appeared to return back to life almost immediately, anticipating and expecting something magnificent to occur. I was taken aback by the culmination of our work. We'd derived something tangible hidden inside the clandestine boxes, but its underlying purpose and actualization still remained elusive. I waited with nervous anticipation, watching intently as she picked up one of the pencils and commenced working on her nascent project. She walked toward the easel holding the device firmly, awaiting her first imprint. I watched as Gemine made the first motions, without touching the canvas. She held the pen in her grasp leaned in toward the paper, but seemed unable to decide exactly what she wanted to draw.

I wondered what was happening. She lifted the device upward and held it aloft. She began to motion over the surface, attempting to begin a tentative sketch. Watching closely as she began outlining her sketch, I was surprised she was only making circular motions in the air, suddenly unwilling to commit herself to imprinting a firm design. It seemed strange that she'd become hesitant after we'd taken so much time building the easel. I was taken by surprise when she suddenly withdrew the pencil, pulled it at her side and stopped further efforts. I wasn't sure what she intended. This wasn't at all what I was expected. She stood in front of the paper surface and contemplated her uneasy stagnation. After our extensive preparation, she found herself unable to mark the page or arrive to a decision. Focusing on her intently, I waited for her to mark the page, but she was suddenly unsure of how to proceed. She took a step back from the easel and surveyed it carefully. The inhospitable emptiness seemed to enlarge quickly. expanding unexpectedly, until it appeared to become so vast its unmarked surface nearly overwhelmed the room.

Turning around without an articulated motivation, Gemine clarified her plan as she looked in my direction with unexpected determination alongside unanticipated trepidation. Her eyes took on a divergent clarity. She'd devised a plan, which quickly converged in an unlikely direction. Her motions indicated she'd encountered a seemingly intractable blockage, but there was an underlying method she'd implement that might counter its recalcitrance .I came to a slow realization of what she might have been planning, but my initial thoughts were easily dismissed and wildly inappropriate. I wasn't entirely sure how to respond, her existing plan hadn't worked and I wasn't able to convince myself I'd arrive at a more sensible conclusion.

My least-probable expectations were suddenly realized in seemingly reckless fashion. She looked directly at me, looking over carefully looking me over, unsure if she'd found the right solution to her unexplainable paralysis. The determination required an uneasily long interval while she convinced herself that she was implementing the correct tactic that might end up productive approach. She made several halting steps before finally deciding. She didn't hesitate once arriving at her determination; quickly following a determined path. I stood in place, uneasily, awaiting her arrival with serene uncertainty. I was unsure what she expected, but Gemine began moving inexorably towards my reticent position on the room's periphery. Quickly arriving directly in front of me, she didn't pause for even the slightest a breath before beginning her elaborate invocation.

It appeared inconsequential at first, but its importance increased the longer she held onto it. She'd managed to reach me and finally lifted the pencil up into the atmosphere. She performed this act with a vaguely ceremonial flourish, twirling it around in a half-circle somewhat hopefully. She began turning it sideways before extending it unexpectedly in my direction. I wasn't sure how she knew about my earlier attempts at paintings. Her expectations caught me off-guard. I had no idea how I should've responded to her. I thought about turning down her invitation, but realized she'd gotten stuck. Conversely, I realized that I'd had very little experience with this type of thing; my skills were barely a fraction on hers. I was only a beginning student, all I could manage to create were scratches of lines, incoherent shapes, and disorganized scribbles. Anything I'd produce would probably end in severe disappointment on her part. I was conflicted, unable to make a firm commitment, either.

We'd reached an intrinsic stalemate consisting of imprecise objectives alongside mounting uncertainty. We stood at a cross within the room, nervously facing each other unsure how to forge a path ahead. It appeared that we'd begun from divergent origins only to find ouselves arriving at the precisely the same vexing position. Confronting unexpected yet unsettlingly parallel layers of profound uncertainty,doubt and, anxiety caused uneasiness that couldn't be reconciled. We'd discovered and released a seemingly simple, innocuous pencil had transformed itself. It had changed from its passive, nondescript form and took on increasing prominence, impatiently awaiting somebody to begin marking the insurmountable sheet of blank paper that had likewise risen from a dormant state. Its unfilled surface insistently demanding to be filled. I couldn't decide whether to accept her offer and stood silently weighing possible connotations. I wanted her to understand my reluctance and began slightly nodding my head, reluctantly signaling that I wasn't entirely ready to commence the act. I was tempted to explain that it was far too soon, I'd have nothing to add, but couldn't articulate this easily without sounding overly defensive and excessively tentative. Instead I stood quietly, my eyes gazing back and forth between the pen and the page, determine to dissuade her from trying to convince me further. I decided to keep nodding my head, politely declining her offer. She waited patiently for me and would accept my persistent denial. She pushed the pencil at me with renewed force, making another insistent demand from me. She'd stepped several paces closer which made it more difficult for me to turn her down. I stood reluctantly staring at its narrow form and held firm. I tried to explain that it was beyond my capabilities, but she wouldn't listen to my protestations. She pushed the pencil at me once again and motioned to the easel with increasingly resolute fashion.

Overcoming my unspoken reluctance, I took a tentative step towards Gemine. She stood between the easel and held out the pencil with determination, thrusting the indicator at me with insistent force. I Gazed on it with reserved interest, unsure exactly how I was supposed to proceed. She didn't appear to have much use for my hesitation and pushed it until it was just out of my reach, opening her hand while simultaneously releasing her grip. The pencil dangled in the air for a moment, but I decided to act and took hold of the pencil. It didn't feel particularly heavy or important on its own. Outward appearances were deceptive, I knew the weight it held within, and decided to treat it with appropriate respect. I clasped it firmly in my hand, making sure its right side was up. Bowing slightly, I thanked her for her generosity, still unsure what I'd gotten myself into. She stepped aside and left me a clear path to the easel. Without further elaboration, I knew the time had arrived, there was no time for entreaties. It was time to take control.

I walked the remaining steps until I stood directly in front of the easel. Its surface remained undisturbed despite our fervent deliberations. I held the pencil at a level angle in order to start weighing and measuring its strength. I touched its end and felt the sharp point of its refracted end. I'd hadn't had nearly enough time to come to a determination about precisely how I'd mark the page. After several minutes, I arrived at a tentative decision. I placed its needle to the page with some trepidation, but I'd come to a gradual indication. The first imprint was a straight line covering a quarter of the page. It was narrow and not that pronounced, but it was a start. I stood and carefully surveyed its newly-visualized base of my composition. I immediately realized its dishelmed, uneven length was unfortunate. Looking further at the initial imprintation, revealed more problems. I found its light, unsure appearance didn't match my imagination. I needed it to be more pronounced, in order to make a stronger baseline for the illustration I had in mind. I decided that I needed to reinforce it and ran the pencil back over the surface several times to darken and thicken its surface. After I'd reached a good conclusion and pace, I worked with increased speed and confidence. I set another line perpendicular, crossing against the first in slightly slimmer, more effective motion by pressing down on the pencil until it set a darker path. I quickly assembled a familiar structure on the page, its durable design unmistakable, even in rough form. I couldn't remember the precise dimensions of what I was drawing, but had come to form a general idea as I recreated it as best I could recall.

My energies turned focus from the main structure and began filling in the accompanying sections, in order to fill the page and bring some contextual dimension to my inconsistent design, largely due to my somewhat limited capabilities. I made several additional strokes and gradually built a temporary outline that began to convey the outer pilings. Moving to the eastern side of the page, I decided to compose the frame of a doorway, which appeared somewhat imposing, yet not insurmountable. I filled in its surface with smaller panels and added a small key latch and various knobs. I began to look like something I remembered, but I was leaving out the most important detail. I had to close my eyes, but was fortunate that my memory remained vivid. I remembered the colorful illustration above the door, appearing on its upper panel. I couldn't match its bright summer colors, but was able to approximate its basic appearance in rough form. Determining that I'd somehow managed to create an adequate representation of the structure, I retraced my drawing, adding detail and occasional elaborations, in order to lend my illustration a layer of realism. As I completed the illustration, it began to release its hold on my detail-oriented concentration, allowing my to look at its broader composition. Taking a step back, I looked it over in its totality, somewhat satisfied with its composition, feeling engaged and satisfied. There were obvious flaws and detriments, I hadn't yet achieved the level of skill I desired, but I'd somehow managed to capture its basic structure in a reasonable manner. I felt somewhat happy with my work, and excitedly looked back in Gemine's direction, hoping for reinforcement from her vantage.

I wasn't expecting what I encountered. She was staring in my direction silently, observing me with unexpected consternation. Gemine appeared to become somehow distant when I looked in her direction, searching for anything resembling approval. Her eyes averted my plaintive gaze; then looked directly past the rough drawings on the canvas, until her focus set into the plain walls beyond. She stared at them rather blankly, seeming to ignore my efforts. I wasn't certain what I'd done wrong. After several minutes sitting in a quiet repose, she began to move, but not with the expected certainty. She began walking across the room tentatively, taking small steps from one side to the other. It didn't appear that she held a firm direction in mind. Her erratic pace quickened but remained unsure. She walked from one side to the other, taking a crooked line back and forth, stopping and turning direction, going back suddenly without following a discernable route. She seemed to grow increasingly nervous and unsettled, but It wasn't clear exactly why she'd become so upset. I looked back on my illustration and it had changed. Its appearance suddenly transformed. The forlorn building I'd half-remembered and hastily drawn unexpectedly became intimidating, dangerous, and threatening. I grabbed the page and turned it over quickly to the blank side. I didn't want my unvarnished visualization to unknowingly agitate the situation any more than it already had.

Unsure how to proceed, I stood in front of the easel, guarding against any further incursions. She walked around in small circles, growing visibly upset. I wasn't sure what to say that would cauterize her discomfort. I stood silently for a moment, before working up the courage to ask Gemine if she'd ever set eyes on the building before, calmly reassuring her that it was only a drawing. She didn't respond immediately, instead she leaned around me attempting to gain another look at my illustration. Gemine seemed surprised that I'd turned it over so recklessly and began nodding her head in disapproval. Taking a step closer, she planted herself firmly in my immediate area but wouldn't resolve further questions. She stood silently for a moment, I could tell something had clearly upset her balance, but she wouldn't elaborate. She gradually regained her calm disposition that concealed her emotion. She took a half-step back and quietly contemplated how to respond. I remained unsettled at that point, unable to determine exactly what my simple drawing had elucidated within her.

Gemine took a short time to gather her thoughts, inhaled a gush of the cool air and carefully began elucidating her explanation. Gemine revealed that she'd been watching me closely but her voice trailed-off before she could elaborate. I stood nervously, and wondered what I'd done wrong. She stood across from me nervously, unsure how to proceed. She managed to find enough equilibrium to explain further. She wasn't actually bothered by the painting's subject. Returning to her initial explanation, admitting that her attention was focused elsewhere. She'd been closely watching my hands, specifically my fingers, intently. Her voice began wavering again, but remained audible. Gemine's spoke and continued taking a measured pace, her cautious defensiveness delaying each word. She reluctantly confessed, nearly-whispering, that my methods precisely mirrored the techniques of somebody she'd known long ago.

- Michael Palisano