The squeak of our shoes on the lino floor

Some photographs we take have huge personal meaning. Ones when we look at it can catapult us in an instant back to when the shot was taken. The feeling of that moment hits us so intensely. Continuing in the series of my personal iPhone favourites I have chosen this shot of a corridor taken in the early morning.  I can hear the squeak of our shoes on the lino floor as we walked the corridor. I can see our shadows appearing on the wall and then disappearing as we passed the windows.

Love!

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Red & White

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Street photography and privacy

Street photography and privacy, the right to privacy; where is the line to be drawn? There are occasions when people are in intimate moments, when their emotions overspill and are so evident; is it OK then to hoist a camera and document that? I am not sure. I remember one time in Riga when I threw an ashtray at a photographer who was asking a young boy to extend his hands in a begging gesture so he could get a photograph of it. This attempt to get the shot went on for a while. The boy cooperated because I presume he believed that in doing so the guy would recompense him. He didn’t. Without even a word of thanks he turned and walked off. I picked up the ashtray (a plastic one) from the table l I was sitting at and threw it at him. I missed, thankfully.

When I am taking street shots what am I trying to capture? I honestly do not know. Looking though my iPhone stream, selecting some of my personal favourties, I stumbled upon the shot below. I remember taking it on a busy street in Lisbon. We were there on a family holiday in 2011. The couple are in a public place, but the moment they are sharing is intensely private. Their embrace, their unspoken togetherness got all my attention. My head raced as to how this moment was arrived at. I could say that instinctively I got the iPhone out and photographed it, but perhaps it was more predatory. Here were two strangers, two people I would never meet again whose intimacy and its story I could shoot. I did.

Now, despite the questions this poses; whether it is intrusive or not, I do like the photograph a lot. There is a tenderness and love there.

I would love to hear feedback on the questions it poses. Thanks.

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The things I remember

Forgeternity

– Is it easier to forget or to remember? I said
– Is it easier to forget or to remember? He said. Why are you asking?
– To forget seems much easier. I mean, we don’t even to have to try, things just slip away. but we have to try to remember things, don’t we?
– You ask the strangest things, he said. The strangest things.
– How do you know? Are your trying to remember other things, other strange things I have asked you. I said.
– No. He said. You just do.
– Maybe you forget the normal things, the not-strange things I have asked you. I said.
– You don’t ask normal things. He said. They are always weird.
– No, they’re not. I said.
– OK. He said. It must be easier to forget. It has to be, he said, otherwise our heads, our heads would just explode.
– Would they? I said. So, I said, what is the difference between forgetting and remembering? Can we choose to forget? I don’t think so.
– Give me an example? He said.
– An example? OK. Things that make you happy; what are they?
– Things that make me happy? What has that got to do with remembering or forgetting? He said.
– See!
– See what? He said.
– You have to remember. You have forgotten. I said.
– No. No, I haven’t. He said.
– So…
– OK. What makes me happy? What makes me happy? Ehm… He said.
– How about what was the last thing to make you happy? I said.
– The last thing? The last thing was… it was…Ya, got it. Waking up this morning and knowing I did not need to get out of bed to get to work. That made me happy. And as for something that made me sad, well not sad, but that just fucking irritated me. He said. The last thing to irritate me…
– Ya, I know, I know. I am irritating you. I said. But stay with me. What was the last thing you forgot?
– I forgot. How do I know what I forgot if I have forgotten it. He said.
– Maybe it is something you realized that you had forgotten when you remembered it.
– Right, OK. He said. Waking up and realising that I did not have to get out of bed made me happy. I had forgotten that, then I remembered it.
– So, is it easier to forget or to remember?
– Well, I can tell you. I can tell you that I won’t forget this conversation and I won’t forget how fucking annoying you are.
– Easier to forget, so is it? I said.
– I’m trying to remember why the fuck it is that I spend time with you. He said.
– I never forget that. I said.
No?
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Jak Sparkle

Jak Sparkle was a man. A man like many men, except for his ability to transform. Jak Sparkle, when facing embarrassment, did not blush red like you or me. No, he glowed. Glowed until his head was a shining white, bright bulb. A bulb so bright it dazzled all those who looked at him.

And how they looked. But those gazes never were never met by Jak. The glow it shielded him. And those fingers pointing went unseen; the little nudges and head tilts unnoticed, and even the sniggers, the low whispers, those went unheard. Jak was impenetrable. Impervious. He could just walk on by, not fazed, unaffected.

Now, it was not always like this for Jak. Times were when Jak would burn with embarrassment. His face roasting red when mouths would hang open in shock at seeing Jak pass by. He tried wearing wide-brimmed hats, wearing long-peaked caps, wearing baggy-hanging hoods. He tried large sunglasses and long, bushy beards. He tried not going out. He tried and tried and tried. And then one day, his embarrassment blushed until it burst and popped into that glowing, white, impervious bulb. Jak was saved. But saved, only when his awkwardness overwhelmed him. And lately he was just not getting as embarrassed as he used to.

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Jak Sparkle

His eyes look like speech bubbles

You may think  sharing a bed with an imaginary friend would be a great thing. Ya, at times it is, don’t me wrong, of course it is. Nights can be long, nights can be lonely and he can be – hell, he is, great company. That is until he gets cranky and demanding. Whining like a dog about how unfair it is that he is the imaginary one. That I should be. That he was here first. It can go on for hours.

Why we argue like this, I just do not know. For years, we got on so well. Sharing our little secrets, hatching our plans, and ya, of course, bemoaning our lot and putting the world to right. I think it all changed the day I brought Julie home. I made the fatal mistake of ignoring him. Locking him in the bedroom with the light out was not a good idea. I spent the night running back and forth from the room, speaking in whispers, pleading with him to stay put, to stay quiet. Julie was nice about it all. She was a caring girl and patient with me. When she asked about who he was and I told her, I thought she was a little jealous to begin with.  But it was the way she looked at me, searching in my eyes that told me she wasn’t jealous at all. It was just she did not like him. And I couldn’t blame her.

We didn’t sleep that night. We shouted and screamed. I left the house at 4 and did not return until the sun had come up. Turning the key quietly in the lock, I sensed he was there, behind the door waiting for me. And he was. He said nothing. Looked at me, with his head slightly titled to the side. His eyebrows raised, making his eyes look like speech bubbles which I had no trouble filling in. Sorry, I said. And that was it. A smile came to his face as his eyes softened. We slept right through to the afternoon.

I’ll go out with you in future, he said. We’ll go out together, he said.

Go out? I said. Out of the house? Together?

Ya! he said. We will, ya. OK?

OK. I said. But you have never been outside before.

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Julie would not like you

I know, he said. We have never been outside before. 

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We have never been out together before