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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 dark

There is a smell in the dark wet street, of onions and cabbage and spoiled meat. It has a hot, steamy feel to it like school lunch. I shove my hands deeper into my pockets, walking faster towards home.
A shadow runs along the sidewalk next to me, dancing around the puddles. I look back once, and see that no one is there. 

Just me and the streetlights.

The neighbor is in the hallway in his socks. He wears a shirt with a rainbow across the middle, the kind a seven year old boy would have. He is polishing his boots on the windowsill, looking out into the darkness.

Inside, I pull my wet shoes off. The christmas lights are dancing on our little tree, and there is that messy angel on top made by an orphan. 





Comments

liv said…
So many times you've taken us to this hallway - I feel I know it. Bad lighting, funny smell, a wee bit damp with an odd odor...am I right?

The first part of this reminds me of that Bob Dylan photo - NY city, hands stuffed into pocks, cold and windy. But it's you...the Bob Dylan of Moscow.
This is good work! I have a couple of questions: (1) Why did you choose not to place a comma between dark and wet at the beginning of the first sentence? Why not treat "dark wet" as a compound adjective? (2) Why did you choose not to treat "seven year old" as a compound adjective by placing a hyphen between each word?

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