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The Only True Genius in the Family - A Novel by Jennie Nash
'My Own True Genius' Essays : Karen Cafarella, My Own True Genius

True Genius Essay Contest Runner Up!

Inspiring Chocolate

By Karen Cafarella

The Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie NashIt was just another hot day in Phoenix, AZ. The temperature was over 105 degrees again. I decided to sit at my computer to see what was going on in the world. I have to admit I wasn't looking for any sad stories but something fun.

That is when the story jumped out at me. A man in jail for life paints with M&Ms. Curiosity got me, so what did I do, of course I read it. The man is in solitary confinement, has no contact with anyone. He asked for postcards and saved his M&Ms as well as his small jelly containers. He had long hair so he made his paint brush out of his hair. He used water or apple juice to leach the color off the M&Ms and painted on the postcards. The amazing part was that that weekend of the story was about them holding a show in Mexico for his paintings which sold for $500 each.

I was very taken with this form of painting and decided to go to my local post office to buy some postcards. Then to my local supermarket to buy some M&Ms. I had a paint brush, no need to use my hair! I painted one day using four of the postcards. I was inspired, I never painted before. Just the paint by numbers as a child. I was painting what came to me. They are abstract paintings. I have been doing these paintings for over two years now and never get bored. The best part when I get a craving for chocolate I don't have far to look! •

© 2009 Karen Cafarella