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Albino (part one)

I began writing Albino two million years ago. I had an editor then, who lived a few blocks away. We would meet for breakfast on Avenue A, quietly forking into home fries as we discussed the structure of the story - the economy of objects. A dollar bill was not just a dollar bill in this story, it was connected to thought and action, to music and transformation. This was the story that told me there was a whole book to dig into, mining for diamonds in the backwaters of America, turning over the ugliest rocks to better understand relationships between fathers and sons.

Last week, I stumbled across a call for submissions - not for a journal, but for a podcast where the work of new writers was read aloud. I thought back to a reading I had done of just the first few pages of Albino - a messy hero's journey,  a young man and a guitar, a man with loss and regret, a man that still had something to lose. That reading went well, enough that I felt a strange elation stepping off the stage i…

snapshots from the end of summer


The doughnuts are greasy, caked with powdered sugar. These are nostalgic ones from a roadside stand that has not changed since Soviet times. There are faces waiting urgently, ready to churn their cars on and keep going. There are faces staring into space or out the windows, at a parked semi, at the sky. They are in no rush, nursing styrofoam cups of coffee, the table a mess of napkins and slick paper. I lick my fingers, and decide to stick to just the one.

It starts to rain a little. I take a meter reading, get a few shots with the leica before I hide it in my pocket.



There is a spring of sacred, holy water set back from the road. People walk past us with giant bottles they have filled. The tiny pool is green at the bottom and I see little vibrations, rivulets under the surface. The water is sweet and cold, and I cup some in my hands drinking deep.



The flea market is already closing, at four. The tables are folded up one by one. Faces lost, no treasures discovered, no big sales. Beads and old binoculars, broken watches and silver spoons go back into suitcases. The cars throttle and stop, then pull away. 

We bought a wind-up victrola, a portable one from about 1950. The man shook my hand afterwards, happy.



Comments

liv said…
Hmmm, that's very interesting that you've shown pictures in color. It really changes the perspective of the viewer. Color makes that world seem more fragile, not so cold hearted and desolate as the black and whites do. It gave me the perception that many Russians probably feel as "stuck" in a place that they don't understand, don't like and cannot figure a way out of as you do.

I have unfortunately and even reluctantly formed an opinion that all Russians (except of course for N's relatives..)are lazy, corrupt and overly strict in their way of dealing with life there. That the whole perspective of Chekov's beautiful writing, the depiction of people living full spectrum lives no longer existed. I think it does, only now the color has been stripped away. The futility of living in, what has become for most of them, a black and white world must feel like a kind of prison. The face of the man in the donut shop, for me, expressed exactly that.

All of your pictures, Marco, no matter what their color, reveal to me something that I have never seen, never known before.

I'm glad you only ate one donut.

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