It Came From the Sketchbook – The Brush

The Brush by Joe Williams

The Brush by Joe Williams

This was a guy I saw a few too many times during my commute when I would take SEPTA’s regional rail line. I think a college or two was along the line, and this fellow either worked at a college or was attempting to drown himself in debt piling up worthless degrees. He looked to be pushing thirty and was probably whiling away his time for the last decade in one ivory tower or another chatting up co-eds who were either naive or had extremely low expectations hoping one of them would give him a tumble.

The guy looked like Fred Flintstone and John Belushi had a kid, and tried to maintain a retro punk style that would have looked ridiculous on kid’s ten years his junior. The crowning glory of his ensemble was a rooster-like comb of krinkly hair that protruded from his head. It was his gimmick that he used to convince girls in their early 20s that he was still fashionably relevant. I had no idea how he maintained this bizarre forelock and was never curious enough to find out. He was dubbed The Brush. O, Punk Rock, what hath thou wrought?

This was done in the hard-bound sketchbook at my drafting table at home. I had seen Joe College enough on the train that I could draw him from memory.

I haven’t taken the regional line for a while opting instead for the less expensive, more reliable elevated trains and buses, but a friend who takes the train assures me that The Brush still takes the same line. He still retains his trademarked comb; is probably still pursuing some postgraduate degree, and still pursuing undergraduates with the same old lines. “What’s your major?”

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