Scan 20
I don’t know when I first drew him but I remember tracing the shapes of his face onto a steamed up bus window sometime in 2003 or 4. I was on my way to Richmond Park during the winter months, my gaze clouded by a sheet of condensation as crisp as a leaf of A4. The dew collected on the tip of my finger as I drew one eye and then another, moisture pooling until its own weight grew too great and streamed down the length of the glass. The mouth was drawn closed and silent, hugged by its own cheeks. He looked at me and also out onto the streets, sharing my view of the world passing by. Getting off at my stop I left him there, to face new passengers long after I would have departed.
Since then, my thoughts would turn to him in those idle moments: Long journeys, phone calls on hold, sitting and doodling with pen and paper. A circle appeared, a boundary against other marks on the page, separating his vulnerable features from the confusion of his surroundings. In 2006 a friend named him Chutchie* and in 2007 or 8 he turned up with arms and legs, leaning up against a wall, hands in pockets while whistling a tune and taking 5, or 10.
* It was pointed out to me some years later that his name shared a similarity to a scene from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, although with a different spelling of the word:
You’re my little chu-chi face
My coo-chi, coo-chi, woo-chi little chu-chi face
Every time I look at you I sigh
And you’re my little teddy bear
Whatever you may ask becomes my happy task
I only live to serve you
I never will divine what magic made you mine
I only know I don’t deserve you
You’re my little chu-chi face