The school bell rang. All over the hall, classes were starting. I took a seat at the nearest desk. I didn't want to think about it too hard because there was always one reason or another not to sit at any given seat. Either there was gum underneath like slick saliva stalactites or grime from all the sweaty grubby fingers lining the edges.
As my teacher began his usual routine, I stared down at the desk-top I selected. Blue pen decorated the surface, an intricate drawing of a woman in layers of robes. The style was unique, something like anime, but not quite. At the base of the picture was a signature. It read "Meph."
I noticed similar sketches on the desk-top in other classes, all signed Meph. And I became determined to find the artist. I wanted to learn how to unlock that power in myself.
I finally met Meph in an art class, entirely by accident, when I recognized the style of his work. So I stuck around him and his friends, hoping to glean something about art from him.
I once asked him how he drew in pen the way he did, and he showed me a simple exercise that I would practice from that day on.
He drew layered shapes, like mazes, once starting from the center and working outward, then starting outward and working in towards the center.
I didn't realize it at the time, but he wanted me to develop the tiny muscles in my hands and fingers required for fine motor activities. It also helped generate my interest in mazes.
Mazes help develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills required for handwriting and art. They are also significant as exercises that explore linework outside of tracing letters and numbers, which children may find tedious.