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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 …

Silver Street

Somehow, I am still there. We are taking a walk on Silver Street late in the afternoon. There are stray cats, and the sound of children playing. The smell of wood smoke, and fresh bread, of salt and coriander are wrapping around the parked cars, the crumbling walls, the peeling paint of Tbilisi. My stomach is still full from lunch. I just want coffee, cold and sweet. 

The streets are somehow familiar even though it has been a few years. My feet know the way, predicting the apartments around a corner. A balcony, some wash swinging in a low breeze. A courtyard lost in shadow. An old man with no shirt on carrying a bottle of wine. 

There is a rhythm to the days in Georgia. Yes, work gets done but somehow it feels so effortless. There are faces in the street that are not worried, or scared, not nervous, not looking at you out of the corner of their eye. Yes, the cars drive fast but I do not hear the angry bleat of a horn. I do not hear the ugly squeal of tires. I hear laughter, a breeze, a dog barking. 

Someone is selling raspberries. 


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