This image of him leaning back with a cigarette is actually from a photograph taken in a nightclub, probably at the Plantation Inn in West Memphis, AR. For this drawing I took him out of the club and placed him in a setting that I imagined to be my parent's first apartment, with him hanging out with their friends, spinning records, and taking a smoke break from dancing.
This is me as a child, although proportionately I drew myself as older. I'm lying on a gurney having anesthesia administered through a gas mask while I watched my worried and helpless father pacing on the other side of a window. I felt pure panic and was crying really hard - it's my first memory.
I was born totally crossed-eyed with my eyes fixed straight down the middle. By the time I was four I had four operations. I recently told my mom this first memory and she said, "You were always so good through those operations. You hardly cried or seemed in any pain. I guess your Dad didn't tell me about this because he didn't want me to know that you were having such a hard time."
Soon after we arrived home from these trips my dad would hose out the sand from our red VW van.