Sunday, March 1, 2015
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Sunlight graces a store front at the right angle after days of cloud cover. I see shine. I see sparkle. I press shutter button. I see hand. Hand? Yes, a hand blocks the light between my camera lens and an old coffee roaster. I step back, look up and see Mr. Coffee Roaster Man. He takes away his hand. I bend down again into the sparkle and shine. The hand reappears. I step away once more. Everything repeats. My lens. His hand. My lens. His hand. He comes outside into the freeze. Why are you taking pictures he asks. It's a hobby I say. Do not put them on the internet he says. Not an ask, an order. He goes back to the roaster. I find a bench and sit. I feel the sunlight fuel fire inside me. I take up my camera and turn towards the roaster and the light reflecting on it. I bend down, look through the lens and press the shutter, seeking now something other than sparkle. Mr. Coffee Roaster Man readies. He puts a bucket in the window. It shines. Click. He puts a scooper in the window. It shines. Click. Then I stand straight and see him. He shines. Click.
He looks at the photo. This is not you he says and tosses my passport on the counter between us. Then who is it I ask, stunned by his conclusion. He takes back the passport. When I look at this picture I see a guy. When I look at you standing here I see a beautiful woman.
The therapist works my neck. Do you have a hero I ask. Does it have to be someone famous she replies. No, I say. Then my dad. My dad is my hero she says. After my parents divorced and my mom moved to Minnesota, he took care of me. I was in high school. He was retired. Older and around. Today he's 72. More fit than me. I sit eating cereal while he does sit-ups. He lives in Maine. He stays here during the summer and rides his bike for miles, like 10 miles or more every day. I can ask him anything and get a fair answer. I can't tell her age, but she is young, a child from her father's second marriage. His first wife died she says. I tell her something about my father. He died years ago. Sometimes all I want to do is nothing with him I say. She works my right arm, holding it up. Relax, she says, it's hard to do when you're talking.