6.20.2015 Journal Prompt

Photo by Imogen Cunningham
Photo by Imogen Cunningham

June 20, 2015: She had a way.

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One thought on “6.20.2015 Journal Prompt

  1. I asked her once, ‘bout the camera round her neck and why it went with her all places and all times. She said it was her memory. She said sometimes there was moments and she wanted to hold onto ‘em forever. She said as how memory was a slippy thing and that we all of us forget more than ever we recall. Taking pictures was her way of remembering what might so easily be lost.

    And the pictures she took they was like scraps of memory, imperfect and not like pictures for any album or a gallery wall. She’d bend down suddenly in the street and photograph a crack in the sidewalk and a green weed rooted in the crack. I asked her why she wanted to remember that, it was just a weed and there was hundreds of weeds in a hundred cracks and I didn’t get why she wanted to remember that one exactly. She looked at me like she didn’t know me, like she was trying to understand who I was. Then she sighed and she drew breath and held it for a moment.

    ‘Whenever I look at this picture I will remember this,’ she said, and she gestured all around taking in the street and the sky and me. ‘I will remember you and how I feel about you right now and that’s something that is so easily forgotten.’

    I didn’t know what to make of that. It felt like truth and it felt like a slap in the face all at the same time. I kissed her then, and it was the first of our kisses. She said that when she looked at her picture of the weed caught in the cracked stone she would remember that kiss, too.

    That was years back now, and I have lost that woman who snapped a hundred pictures a day. And almost all I have of her is that moment when she took that stupid photograph, and when I think of it I recall that kiss. All the other kisses I have forgotten, but that one stays clear in my head, and I sometimes think I even recall the taste. And remembering that kiss, I wish I had paid more attention to her pictures.

    I spent a year with that woman and looking back it was one of the best years, one of those years you want to go back and live over. She was pretty and weird and young. I think about her sometimes and I wonder if she kept it up, if she continued to take pictures of all the things she wanted to remember. She’d have maybe a million pictures by this time and I think that’d be something.

    The other day I passed by the house we stayed in for that year we were together and it looked just the same. Maybe the trees were a little taller and the door was painted a different colour, but mostly it was the same. And here’s the thing, I couldn’t decide which was our bedroom window. I took a picture of her at the window and the sun in her hair and she was looking up at the blue sky. I have the picture somewhere so that much I know is true, I saw it the other day when I was looking for something else, and seeing it I remembered what we had I felt suddenly poor and lost; and now, standing outside looking at the house that was once ours, well, I can’t work out which was the window.

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