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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 …

Sancho Panza and Don Quixote

The ocean whorls and spits and turns back on itself, a blue muscle pushing against sand. 

There are groups of old women, mostly in threes taking in low voices as they move slowly down the white tiled street. Little men in red berets all start to look like Sancho Panza. The rain is not salty, running down my cheeks and across my lips. My feet are wet.

After the rain, the cherry blossoms hang low. I watch them bobbing from invisible hands. A man sits on a bench waiting for someone. Children jump in puddles all messy hair and smiles, their raincoats open and flapping around them. Someone is smoking a cigar. A man with one leg shorter than the other is waving papers on a corner trying to hand one to everyone that passes.

Umbrellas choke the sky as I walk narrow streets.


A few days here and Moscow's deep snow cannot be imagined. I block it out, sipping on cafe con leche in little shops with their doors open to the damp air. I think of E in school, offering her homework to the teacher that bends down with a red pen and gives her a star, a correction or the casual grade. I think of her at lunch, slurping soup from a tiny spoon with her big eyes watching the other children not looking down at her bowl. I imagine her on the playground, hands in pockets, walking in slow circles in dirty snow, maybe kneeling to retie a shoelace.

I imagine what it will be like to travel with her someday, to climb little mountains and look down at cities, to feel sand between her toes, to order randomly from menus we do not understand and eat baby eels for lunch.








Comments

liv said…
And what are you doing in Spain?? Looking for your own Sancho Panza?

And most importantly - what are you eating? I am envious.

Safe trip!

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