“Thanks.” I inched closer to him, laying my head on his shoulder. He smelled like graphite and paper.
Within a few minutes, we were at the Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Memorials.
“I’ve never been here before.” I admitted.
“Never.” I answered. These places weren’t really a walking distance, and I liked the National Gallery.
“Come on. I usually just ride the bus looking for people to draw, but for you, we are getting off to see it.”
“Jesus, good to see you.”
“Later, Boss Man.”
They shook hands, and we left the bus. Jesus’ bus lined up behind about five other red double-decker busses.
Jordan handed me a water bottle. “You need to hydrate.”
I took the bottle and laughed.
“Always the great bartender, tending to my hydration needs.” I opened the bottle and drank half of it. He took the bottle from me, his lips parting over the same spot mine had just been. His throat shifted with each swallow, and I remembered my lips were there less than twelve hours ago. My face flushed.
“Where are we going?”
“Into the history you love.” He answered. He took my hand and guided me towards the sound of rushing water.
He pointed at the red brown shiny stone FDR Memorial. We walked past harrowing statues of men in the food line with quotes from FDR. Jordan let my hand go and I moved to get closer to the statues. I turned to find Jordan leaning against one of the square stones facing me, his small sketch book already out. He looked up and smiled, then went back to sketching. He was drawing me again. I didn’t mind. I got lost in the historic words of FDR.
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
I touched the engraving and felt those words as I looked at the men in the food line and the couple sitting next to the quote. I sighed and backed away. I meandered through the outdoor exhibit and ended up near the waterfall. The water crashed on the rocks.
Jordan continued to sketch by the rocks on the other side. I watched him, watching others and drawing them. He was in a trance. His pencil moved quick across the tiny page. He glanced up sometimes and then took a moment to look around for me. He saw me staring at him and a broad grin plastered on his face.
“Sorry.” He said as he met me near the waterfall. “I get lost trying to capture people.”
“I don’t mind. It’s nice here.”
He glanced around, then back to me.
“I normally sit over there and work. I enjoy being with you. You help me find different people than I would regularly look for.”
“Really?” I asked and stood up, trying to peek into his small book.
He closed it and wrapped his pencil on the outside. “Not for your eyes yet.”
I pretended to pout.
“Okay.” He handed it over.
“When you are ready. I love seeing your work.” I pushed the book back into his hands.
His eyes narrowed as he looked at me. As if he was analyzing what I said for deeper meaning. He shouldn’t do that, read more into this. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used the word love in that phrase, maybe he’d think I’d want to continue this.
“Next stop, MLK. I suppose you haven’t taken the time to see that either?” He teased.