Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Equus Fugit

In April 1992 I went to a party. My friend Dan was telling me about the tattoo he was going to get, an hourglass with the legend "Tempus Fugit" inscribed on a banner. When he finished, I asked him, "If 'tempus fugit' means 'time flies,' how do you say 'horseflies?'"

Without a pause he said, "Equus fugit."

The day after the party, I drew this. On the Monday, I made a copy and presented it to him. He looked at it, then at me, then back at my illustration. When he looked back at me he said, "So all I have to do is say it and you draw it?"

"Pretty much," I replied.

While this is one of my favorite drawings, I was never quite happy with the bare pen-and-ink version. The original lettering was awkward and too heavy for the lightness of the horse. I think that this version is closest to my original vision. Since then I've discovered that "equus fugit" is not syntactically correct (it should be "equitibus fugit," for "horse flies"), but I've decided to leave it as is. Nostalgia is a powerful force.

Dan, if you're out there somewhere, this one is still for you.

1 comment:

KATrGEEK said...

Love it and the story!