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the choice is his (no surrender)

I load the tiny Leica at the kitchen table, the CL that almost fits in my palm. There are piles of broken asphalt downstairs and the remnants of a flash flood. Maybe there is a picture there, some workers out of focus with their great machines as the puddles turn opaque with dirt and oil.

Downstairs the backhoes and the rollers are rumbling back and forth, men in rain ponchos are grinding down curb stones. A truck with tar and gravel beeps in a steady rhythm. The entire neighbourhood is like this, all overturned fences and exposed earth. Pipes are being replaced deep in the ground. Welding torches light up in the mornings with a snakelike hiss. They all know the snow is coming, it could be here in a week or two. The ground will grow cold and stiff. Those great puddles with nowhere to go will turn to ice. At night the temperature already hovers just around zero.

Past the farmer's market, another crew is laying down a fresh layer of asphalt. There are more random piles of old road,…

no one wears white


Dick Rogers leaned in, right up to my face.
"No one wears white." He said, the words separated by angry pauses.
I swallowed, embarrassed.
"No one." He added, his hand waving around with a flourish.
My cheeks ran red. I could feel every hair, right up to the top of my head. I suddenly felt like I smelled terrible. My stomach made an empty noise. A pen hung limp from my hand, then rested on my notebook.

Later in the hallway, he smiled at me. A tiny encouragement.

The film was about my father and my brother, as much as myself. There were heartfelt sessions in front of the camera, the film whirring slowly, the microphone perched just out of frame. There were trips home to shoot my father ice fishing, or painting, or just having a coffee alone at the big kitchen table. Then my brother, doing chin-up after chin-up. The story was wandering, turning blind corners.

In the end, I animated a story that my brother mentioned. A parable.
A deer and a lamb are in a field, eating fresh green grass. The deer's antlers fall off at one point, and he puts a bag over his head, embarrassed. And then the bag falls off. The sheep looks at him for a moment.
"You aren't as important as you think you are." He said.



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