Leading lines

  • Aperture: f/4
  • Focal Length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter: 1/500 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

[Sorry guys, falling asleep typing. I’ll try to make this better tomorrow. As it is, I can barely hold my head up. I haven’t been sleeping well, so I think I’ll try to crash rather than fiddle with syntax anymore tonight.]

The first thing I think is, do I remember how to do this? The hands are already grasping, tugging, anticipating. A quick check in the mirror confirms it: the eyes are bright and shiny, feverish with want. The fingers are tap-tapping on the dresser top, waiting for the mind to catch up.

Hastily, I gulp water until the cottony dryness is gone and I look in the mirror again. I’m not ready. It’s too soon. It’s been too long.

Fitfully, I rummage through my closet. That settles it. Nothing to wear. Some other time.

It’s time, a voice whispers. Just go. Just let go.

And of course this is exactly why I don’t want to go. I’m not ready. Not yet. I’m afraid of the dizzy rush, the blood rocketing through me, the metallic ting of pleasure, rusty and hot on my tongue. I’m afraid of this girl in the mirror, the way her eyes are glowing, the way her body is trembling, the way she’s practically vibrating with life.

It’s been too long, I whisper. But she’s not listening.

It feels like the first time, and I’m giddy-stupid, virginally shy. There will be no turning back if I walk out this door. Everything is changing lately, and if I let myself truly chase what I wanted, who knows what might happen. November lies heavy on my mind and I falter.

You deserve to be happy, I hear him whisper. And because I don’t know the answer, I trust — implicitly — that he does.

I pick up the camera slowly, carefully. This is the new camera, purchased in Baton Rouge, that cost far too much. The $1,200 camera that I let sit unopened for two days on the hotel room floor while I laid in bed, staring at it blankly. This is the new camera that replaced the old camera that belonged to a girl I used to know. A girl I don’t remember anymore.

But this evening can change all that if I let it. The light is golden, seductive. The air is summer-sweet with the scent of gardenias and honeysuckle. It’s the perfect night to go shooting. And in an instant I know I can do it. The heart remembers.

Music: 29 Palms by Robert Plant (lyrics)

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