These are 'people by Toby'. He always describes them this way and always draws them this way; stick figure legs with bulging abdomens and heads, bug people minus antennae, plus eyes and mouth. And right there in the middle? That's what I love about them. Toby's people are always given one extra dot of black marker in the center of their rounded bellies, which are exactly that you think they are: belly buttons.
It's a small detail perhaps, to some. But it's never missing, that single, slight imprint of something more...something eluding to a before. I know Toby's not making a statement by including belly buttons. He doesn't realize their purpose in utero. He does not consider his dots to be a symbol of nurishment or connection or life force.
And yet...he includes them. In every drawing of every person. They are added with a flourish. An annointment saved for last. A period at the end of his sentence, an exclamation at the conclusion of each sketch. He knows it's needed.
He knows it completes.