- Aperture: f/3.2
- Focal Length: 22mm
- ISO: 400
- Shutter: 1/1000 sec
- Camera: NIKON D1H
We sat in the parking lot of a Waffle House
Just outside of Starkville, Mississippi.
And I declared it the happiest day. Ever.
I remember it so clearly, how the sun shone down
On the red, white and blue map in my hands.
“Nice town,” I said. “We must come back to visit when this is all over.”
And we laughed lightly and easily. Fools laughing at fate, one more time.
I dialed home, lauding the quaint little city for its wondrous technologies —
Cell service. Chain restaurants. The best veterinary school in the state.
“He’s alive!” I shouted into the phone. “He’s alive!”
Passersby smiled the polite smile of the uninitiated and unconcerned,
while the phone crackled its litany of do’s and don’ts —
parental injunctions co-mingling with the standard claptrap.
I shrugged off the parts I didn’t want to hear. Click.
I remember so vividly, staring down at the grease-stained menu
As if I actually had to read it.
“I think I’ll have the hash browns,” I said. “Scattered, smothered, double-covered, chunked, diced.”
And he smiled indulgently and said he’d have the country ham.
Lovers sharing a meal, like any other morning.
He shook open the paper as I stared out at the gray ribbon so newly familiar —
Gordo. Reform. Columbus. Pickens. Lowndes. Oktibbeha.
I thought about a silvery pink moonrise I saw over Luxapallila Creek the day before.
I had almost stopped to photograph it, but I was crying and missed my exit.
Besides, it didn’t seem right. I didn’t want a reminder. In case —
But no. There would be no dire predictions now. He was alive. He would live.
And I would live too. Happy in my imaginary world of pixels and light.
I think about that morning now, the sun rising so triumphantly through the fog —
And I think about the moon rising so pale over that silver sliver of Mississippi mud.
He lives only in my words now. Only in my images.
The tides ebb and fall, the moon rises, the sun sets —
It matters not if I stop to record them.
I don’t need a reminder.
I miss my exit every single day.
Music: Aidos by Bexar Bexar.