When Dash was done painting his canvasses, he'd cover them with white paint and start all over again. And he'd call me out of the blue, when I hadn't heard from him for months. “Mom, I'm out of paint. Can we go to the paint shop?” And I'd rush out the door.
One afternoon after hamming it up in the paint shop, we pulled up outside Peter's house on West Fifth Avenue, shortly before they moved. Dash turned to me and said excitedly, “Can I show you some of my canvasses, Mom? I've been working really hard on them.”
“Dash, I'd love that!” I was astonished to be invited in. I hadn't been inside his house since he was five years old. “You run inside and ask your dad if I can come in and see your canvasses. I'll wait here for you.”
Minutes passed. Dash came out again. Disappointment had crushed his happy face. “Dad says you can't come in.”
“Oh. Well, Dash, another time then. I'd really love to see them.”
“Yeah.” He looked down and half turned to go. “Hey, Mom! I've got an idea!” He pointed to the corner of the house. “If you go over there, I can go into the corner room and show them to you through the window!”
He ran inside and I walked around to where he had pointed; the window looked into a playroom in the basement. There were layers of grime and muck on the glass, and I kneeled down on the damp ground and wiped it away. I cupped my hands on either side of my face to cut out the glare so I could get a better look, and there was Dash, so proud, standing next to a big canvas covered in graffiti art. I smiled and waved and gave him a big thumbs-up. He was beaming.