What I’ m doing here is beginning to channel the material from the old “Escape a Day” section (which I just nuked) into a daily post that I can categorize as such and throw in with a whole big mix of other types of content, yet to come. Oh, it’s going to be so much better this way. You’ll see.
It took a whole swarm of bees and the sight of a nude gardener to inspire him, but William Gibbs finally bailed on his government job and took up painting in the remote desert of New Mexico. He had absolutely no plan, and no way of knowing that his artwork would actually become famous one day. He was just following his gut, which is the best any of us can do.
So who is this wonderboy? I wish I could tell you he was real, and proceed to set him up with my favorite single friends. But he’s actually a character in a semi-obscure, two year-old film called Off the Map, directed by Campbell Scott. If you don’t mind a loosely woven plot, the film is gold. We first meet Gibbs as a young tax collector for the IRS, arriving on the doorstep of a homestead in the most godforsaken land you can imagine. His purpose is to perform an audit on a family living under the government radar, a self-sufficient band of three with stockpiles of food and no desire to join “the real world.” But instead of auditing them, Gibbs is inspired by them, ultimately revealing himself to be a big, fat, fabulous quitter–and a pretty fine painter, too.