i could, but i isn't. stories of a constantly-pained individual.

3/26/2011 01:32:00 AM

the physics of happiness

Posted by phish

Originally posted on on Sep 13, 2010. Republished.

He walks with his camera. Plodding the negro streets from dusk till dawn. Waiting for a smell. A mere whiff. Of black and white. He walks for an answer. Or perhaps a question. The last piece. His hands are unsteady from the cigarettes. His feet torn by science. But a heart lifted by every new sight and sound that periodically and infrequently assaults him from every corner.

By the tube station he stands. Mumbling the names of almost every station on every line. Slowly and repeatedly to strangle time. Scanning the faces around him. Waiting for one to leap out and enter his camera. And maybe even his life.
By the theatre door he stands. Half-cigarette dangling. Half-missing home and yet not. The impatient crowd wouldn't give him a second look but for the intrusive and protruding long lens. Held precariously at half-mast. Waiting.
By the supermarket exit he stands. iPod, check. Brand new five pound shoes on sale, check. Tired backpack, check. Camera with freshly charged battery, check. The city smells of fabric softener.
Notes are being made. Copious and detailed. Images drawn, erased and redrawn in the head for a future sense of deja-vu. The tape rolls on. The faces merge. The songs confuse. The feet plead. The batteries drain out. But the hungry mind lunges on. Taking in both the trash and the graphically new. And every blink of the eye is a picture taken. Click. Click. Click. The mind is a gigantic memory card.
Three hundred thousand steps and 136.789 pictures later a story emerges. Woven by the nameless faces frozen in time. A collage of personalities looking in our faces and telling us about who the one behind the camera is. The one that spells it out however is the most imperfect. Perhaps because he was grossly unprepared for it. Or by the trembling fingers from years of smoking. Or nervousness. Or all of the above. He doesn't even remember where he was when he took it. It is but a blur. Technically and like a fading memory.
Brittle and disintegrating with every recall.
There are more pictures. Not all of them are nice. Click here if you want to see them.