23 March, 2019. “Do I know you? You look very familiar…“
I put my pen down, momentarily confused. The lady at the next table was staring at me intently. At first I thought it was because I was surreptitiously trying to sketch her and her companions without obviously doing so. It was our second or third day on Galveston Island and I was making every effort to sketch my surroundings wherever I happened to be.
“I know I know you.” She waited for me to reply.
“Only from television and the movies.“ My response was glib, and I smiled. In fact we all smiled, and everyone chuckled.
But as lunch progressed, her continued gaze made it more and more apparent that she wasn’t going to let her curiosity go further unremarked upon. Where, oh where did she know me from? My admirer made no secret about studying me closely, reversing the voyeuristic role that artists more normally assume.
Suddenly her body language changed entirely. She straightened, sat upright and brightened, exclaiming, “Oh! I know! … You’re James Patterson!”
Clearly, I am not. And just as clearly, I don’t look anything like James Patterson. (More like Bill Bryson if I had to pick an author as my doppelgänger. And even that is an awfully long stretch.)
Nevertheless, I replied, “You got me. Be sure to buy my next book.“
Uni-Ball Vision and watercolor washes in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.