Posted on February 19, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair2.19.2014 Journal Prompt Photo by Lee Friedlander February 19, 2014: What he saw. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
One Reply to “2.19.2014 Journal Prompt”
Luke has a feeling. Like he is not alone. Not ever. Like he’s being watched, always, and it’s someone he knows and someone he loved once. And sometimes, at the very corner of his world, he feels sure she is there, her hand reaching into the picture, or the side of her face as she turns away, or the heel of her shoe.
Luke smells things, too. Her perfume. Something like green tea and cucumber. And he catches it on the air, adrift, just the smallest breath of it. And he turns his head expecting to see her. And he sees nothing. And he breathes deep then, through his nose, trying to catch it again.
And he hears her voice as a whisper sometimes, like the humming of an insect in Luke’s ear, and all fizz and spark so he does not have the words, like a song heard on the radio and heard through the static of white noise. But it is definitely her.
On the train some days, when his thoughts are heavy and the girl opposite will not look at him and he catches his own reflection in the black glass and he looks away from himself, then Luke hears her, just the voice, faint as breathless whisper. He thinks he does.
Maybe he is mad. Love can do that. Love-sick, moon-mad, and lovelorn. Luke spoke to someone about it once. In a bar, Luke and the man deep enough in drink that they could be no-one. And Luke said how his life was shit and how he was all fucked up and how he couldn’t get her out of his head. The guy at the bar nodded and looked thoughtful into his drink and then he said there was only one cure for that sort of shit and he said Luke should just go fuck a whore up on Madison, and fuck her brains out he said, and fuck your own brains out.
In his apartment Luke keeps a recorder running, taping all that he can hear, the click and clack of the radiators warming, and the fridge thrumming, and a phone ringing in the flat next door, and the noise of traffic coming up from the street. And he listens hard to those tapes, listening for the sound of her voice threaded through all the other sounds.
And he’s always taking pictures, pointing the camera at himself, or just behind, and trying to see what is there in the dark at the edge of where his vision reaches. Shadows mostly he captures, and the mis-shape of things, and everything blurred so it could be anything. And ghosts maybe, he thinks, her ghost.
And he pins those ‘maybe’ pictures up in his apartment so that he is watched, and the tape recorder replaying everything is like there is someone there with him. And a bottle of her perfume, stolen from her purse a long time ago, and he removes the lid and holds the lip of the bottle to his lip and he breathes in.
Love-sick, moon-mad and lovelorn. And her name was Alice once and now she does not even exist except in his head or in the blurr of pictures that he takes and in the shush shush of recorded sound and in the smell from a small glass bottle that he holds to his lips like he might be kissing her.