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there is always something (why I shoot film)

There are maybe ten shots left on the roll. Outside the metro, a collection of pigeons sit on minuscule ledges above two old men. They talk as all old men do, with operatic waves of their hands, sour expressions, belly laughs, eventually scratching their chins as they stare off at nothing in particular. I am pretending to take pictures of something near them, then swing across when they are not looking to shoot a few frames. At one point I surrender to the afternoon and move on.

And now, the courtyard that leads to the film lab. A great old building rests here, a school of architecture where students mill around dressed in black sucking on cigarettes with giant portfolios tucked under their arms. A young man approaches me. I am ready to tell him I have no idea what he is saying, but he wants to know where the film lab is. I jut my chin, telling him the door is just beyond a few bushes. He nods his thanks.

There are screens set up in a jagged line, sheathed in filthy white plastic to …

The First Night

She went from room to room, peering in, clicking all of the light switches on the walls. She opened drawers, and flushed the toilet. She made a quiet, funny face to me.

"Pop, I found some sponges." She said, opening a lower closet door and pointing at them.

We left our bags in a pile in the middle of the the floor and went out for sushi. She sat next to me, propping one elbow on my arm. We toasted, speaking in low voices as we watched the glittering holiday lights reflected in the giant windows.

"Can I see the mermaid horse when we go outside?" She asked me.

We bought chocolates and water and toilet paper and went upstairs. I turned on The Chordettes, and we danced to Lollipop and A Girl's Work is Never Done. We danced like we were airplanes, running from room to room. I threw her into her air, watching our reflections in a tall set of mirrors. We danced for hours. We made a necklace from purple thread, with yellow beads shaped like stars. She squeezed out a bottle of glitter glue across them, and on a leftover piece of furniture we had made into a low desk.

I made her a bed from a little couch that had been in the kitchen for some reason. Spreading out the fresh set of cartoon sheets, she jumped on them. "This is MY bed." She said, and I nodded a big yes. A set of shelves decorated the walls, with sliding glass fronts on them. She filled one of them with her dolls, and slid the glass closed, making a sort of museum exhibit.

She found a tiny heart-shaped pillow in one of them. It said "I love you." She gave it to me, laughing. I gave it back to her.

Comments

Stefanya said…
you are a great pop.

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