Utrecht was drizzling. Ripples was circling on the river when rain drop on canals. It was a very relaxing and quiet environment. The green shadows of the tall trees on river bank reflected on the smooth river surface when the drizzle suspense. It was a beautiful town.
A man was leading a woman to a café for shelter from rain on a bridge over canal. The man called Mattt. He was a local white and wearing a stylish cutting dark suit with a pair of black glasses. The woman called Circle. She had an Asian face with black hair longer than her shoulder. Her messy-layering clothing style couldn’t cover her fine figure.
They just met face to face today. They knew each other on the internet one and a half months ago. Mattt was a professional illustrator and he lived in Utrecht. Circle love drawing and she was an office lady who quit her job recently to go travel. She was staying in Amsterdam and mattt invited her to visit Utrecht for a one day tour and draw.
They entered a café which located underground. They sat opposite in the same table and took out their sketch book and plan to draw. They soon gave up the idea because the light was too dim in the café.
Mattt was looking through Circle’s sketch book and he love her pictures. He suggested, ‘Maybe it would be better for you to use color pencil to do the draft rather than pencil,’
Circle was glad with a good comment, ‘You are right! How can I never think of that? Thanks!’
Mattt noticed Circle carried a heavy bag when they were leaving the café and he said, ‘Do you want me to carry the bag for you?’
A waitress laughed and said to Circle, ‘Look, he is so gentle to carry the bag for you,’
Circle was silent. She was a bit offended by this blabbermouth waitress. Circle was about to put her bag on her shoulder but her sour muscle was painfully oppose. She gave up and let down her bag. Mattt took her bag and carried it in silent and leaving the café.
Drizzling was on and off in Utrecht. They walked through the beautiful church, the lovely Miffy/Nijntje Rabbit statue, the energetic graffiti street and the elegant canals under misty drizzle.
Mattt suggested, ‘Shall we go to my apartment to draw?’
Circle was a bit worry, ‘Do you home far? How long would we stay?’
Mattt guaranteed, ‘Not far, you can leave whenever you like,’
Circle thought it would be risky to go to his apartment alone because they had just met today. She would about to reject his suggestion and she looked up and met mattt’s grey-blue eyes which was smiling to her. She felt her heart beat and a lightning flashed into her brain and she just said, ‘Yeah, Let’s go,’
They walked through the beautiful alleys in Utrecht and arrived an elegant white building. They climbed up a steep stair and arrived at Mattt apartment. Mattt lived alone. Mattt’s apartment was a U shape studio. There were no doors except the front door and the toilet door.
Circle knew little about Holland custom and she asked, ‘Should I have to take off my shoes before I entered?’
Mattt was relax at his own home and said, ‘You can take off whatever you like! I don’t mind.’
Circle felt both annoy and funny. She paid no attention to his frivolous reply and just took off her shoes as she did in her home country and entered the apartment.
Circle was a very suspicious person. She always held an ‘Always be mindful of others’ motto. She would not involve herself into a flight with uncertainty. She would retreat immediately once there would be potential danger. But she felt SAFE in such a ‘dangerous’ (Single girl in a stranger male apartment in a foreign country) situation. She had just spent five hours with mattt and she already had an unexplainable trust on Mattt. Is it because Mattt was a handsome guy? Because she found the bosom friend for her drawing? Circle has no clues yet…
They sat face to face and began to draw in the apartment. Circle sat cross-legged and her little belly unfortunately tightened by her not-so-fit trousers. She was more concern on drawing comfortable than the embarrassment of tidying clothing in front of an opposite sex person. Therefore she loosen a little zipping and pretend nothing had happened and start drafting.
Mattt who had sharp eyes saw everything. He had swallowed saliva in his heart a few times. Mattt always had a crush on woman with a brush. Although Circle had no sexual intention for the unzipping movement but mattt felt like he was crushed like sitting on an electric chair. Mattt managed to pretend nothing had happened and start drafting too.
Circle was a slow drawer. Mattt who was a professional illustrator finished the portrait in a split second. Mattt noticed watercolor was all that Circle had and he took out his box of color ink to let Circle try. Circle soon found out that color ink had a stronger covering ability compare to watercolor. She was glad to have the opportunity to try different drawing materials.
Circle always had a problem of controlling the moisture level of watercolor. Mattt explain, ‘There are no right or wrong in drawing. These are all HAPPY MISTAKES as long as you enjoy drawing!’
Circle cleared up her worries by these few sentences and her drawings became more and more relax and she admired mattt more.
Mattt loved Circle’s drawings and keep praising her to keep Circle laughing.
Two people who shared the same interest drawing together under the same roof. Sparkling sparks were blooming in the air where creativity was crushed excitingly.
Circle loves taking photos and drawing. She asked mattt to be her model and mattt was very co-operated. He didn’t mind to step front and back, jump high and climb low for a good angle. Circle had never met such an obey model and was a bit surprise.
And Mattt asked, ‘Please let me take your photos too～’
Circle finally understood why Mattt was so co-operated. Actually Circle want to try to go in front of the camera too because she always hide behind lens. She thought for a moment and said, ‘Maybe it would be better if I took off my socks. I think it would be a beautiful contrast between bare hands+foot with black clothing,’ Circle took off her socks readily and sat cross legged with hands on top of her foot.
Mattt’s focus was on Circle’s bare skin and he kept pressing the shutter. He couldn’t keep it anymore and said, ‘long fingers and long toes… I don’t mean that I will jump in you, but I always think when girls are drawing and with their brushes are HOT. If you stay here longer, I would definitely hit on you. OK…I better shut up …’
Circle was very surprised. Why, WHy, WHY there were people who think she would be SEXY in her most messy-drawing-and-want-no-disturb situation!? Circle had no idea that should she be smile or cry. Was it because this is a country that legal prostitute and weed? Its national’s interest was very inscrutable…
Circle was glad to be seen as ‘attractive woman’ although she was surprise. She was very pleased to be admired. Circle was a slow person and she would not confirm her mind so fast. She just spoke out directly, ‘Hey, I really appreciated you like my art but I am really sorry that I am NOT going to have sex with you.’
Mattt almost jumped up by hearing what Circle just spoke. He quickly explain, ‘Oh, I have never had one night stand… I didn’t mean that at all…’ He was blushing and muttering explaining and literally turning in circle at the spot. Then he said he should have a glass of water and went to the kitchen. He was the happy and friendly Mattt when he was calm down and came back again.
It didn’t deduct Mattt’s gentleman demeanour although his courting was failure. He still act politely and didn’t kick Circle out and even made her a delicious Asian fried noodles for dinner. It was already 10pm after supper. Mattt said, ‘I don’t mean to rush you. I can walk you to the station and you can take the train back to Amsterdam. Or you can stay here overnight,’
Circle really enjoyed the time they spent on drawing and photos-shooting. Actually she was thinking of staying overnight too. It would be more relaxing if she didn’t have to rush back to Amsterdam on the same day. Circle concluded, ‘I would like to sleep in the living room if you don’t mind. I will go back to Amsterdam tomorrow,’
They quickly packed all the drawing tools and put away cameras. Circle slept on the sofa-bed in the living room and Mattt slept in his own room. The night was quiet and peaceful except the heating was a bit dry for Circle and made her coughing a little.
Mattt suggested they should make a dozen of Rabbit Bunbun (A comic character created by Mattt) little wooden board to stick on the street in the next morning. Circle had no experience on street art and she help to color the background and dry the color with a hair dryer in high spirits. She even wrote ‘Bunbun’ in Chinese characters for Mattt.
Circle was amazed by this Asian-European cultural exchange. Mattt said, ‘I was a host on Couch Surfing and I just did the usual routine like cooking or touring the town with the surfers. I never DRAW with a surfer and it was FUN!’
It was early in the morning. Dust was floating in the room. Sun light shined on the dust and reflected shiny and falling on their shoulder.
Circle really enjoyed the creativity sparks with Mattt on drawing or photography. Circle was always working on creativity projects on her own. This was her first time to work with other artist and she was glad to have a fruitful experience. And she was relax with Mattt around too.
Circle thought a lot. She noticed that Mattt would be very aggressive if he hit on a potential target. She believed this aggressiveness had been his characters for a long time already. And consider of his age, there would be a possibility that his boy(?)/girlfriends could queue up a street and he might even have kid(s).
Circle was a traveller and she had already booked all the flights+accommodation for her journey. It seem Mattt existence could not make Circle give up her travel plan.
Circle didn’t know, didn’t want to know, wouldn’t ask about Mattt’s romantic history. They met in Utrecht. They had a happy memory for 24 hours and that was enough for Circle.
Circle understood her own feminine charm through Mattt’s eyes for the first time. She had a great experience on working together with another artist. She seemed to go through a big bang in just 24 hours. Every minute was amazing and every second was new.
Fate was like water. Treasure the moment. It may not be as happy as the present moment even if the two same people meet again in the future. Only the present happiness was the truth.
Mattt left a deep impression in Circle’s heart. Circle treasured the creativity sparks more than Mattt the real person. She want to keep that little sparks and let it glow and shine.
She had already undergo the most tempestuous waves when she first met Mattt. The waves evaporated into the sky and turn to drizzle and fell on canals and made ripples and flow silently.
As for Mattt, maybe he love Rabbit Bunbun more than anyone, anything on Earth. His room was full of Bunbun comic, pictures, models…he even wore a Bunbun T shirt.
Bunbun was an innocent but naïve, curious and naughty rabbit under Mattt’s drawing pens. Bunbun was a salute to Miffy (Dick Bruna, Miffy’s author was born in Utrecht). Bunbun held an important position on Mattt’s artistic life.
As for human, EASY is the first rule for Mattt. Circle was a new fabulous toy who could hold a brush and full of Asian charm. But Circle existence could not make Mattt gave up his comfort home and his illustrate career and go travel with Circle. Mattt could tell that Circle had no intention to stay long in Utrecht so he didn’t ask her to stay and avoid embarrassment. He preferred easy come easy go.
A dozen of Bunbun colored wooden board were made under their co-operation. They went to the street and stuck them near the graffiti, in the corner of a busy shop and occupy a little space under a road sign. They walked along the graffiti street, the beautiful church and the elegant canal where they have walked yesterday. Utrecht was still a beautiful little town and had witnessed people met and separate, came and gone in thousand years.
Mattt walked Circle to the train station. They looked at each other in the eyes, hugged tight and gone for different directions.