I took a walk today in no particular direction for up to 2 hours. My camera bumped along my side to a moderate, steady stride. I didn’t snap the shutter for a hearty thirty minutes, just looked, smiled and imagined.

I saw a girl with a crop top, blond hair, books under arm and a balloon in the air. Clad in black she stalked from the school, her yellow smiley-face balloon killing her cool. No grin crossed her dark hip lips, her only evident happiness floated above.

Then… unexpectedly she climbed into a large white truck and cheerfully greeted an older man who appeared to be her father. Maybe it was her birthday; I had spotted a paper pealed package among the books. This happy scene didn’t match my narrative of an angsty teen, so I tried to ignore it and floated on.

I came upon an enchanting square building. Simple symmetry stayed my amble. I stood, gawked, then remembered my camera but a two inch display screen couldn’t do justice.

A mouldering factory filled the next block. Brick dust and pigeon droppings crunched underfoot. Why is decay so fascinating? Abandoned, dangerous, alluring. I thought about breaking-in, fantasized really, but ultimately heeded the signs and headed toward the inhabited.

Kids gathered on quiet streets in neat knots, skateboarding and standing with hands in pockets.

The open door of an SUV in the ballet studio parking lot sheltered an earnest pair. Mom dutifully pining unruly wisps of hair into her daughters static style. The girl’s detached gaze bobbed with each tug and tuck.

I didn’t photograph the people, didn’t want to impose. I didn’t know how to ask for a moment of their souls. Solid objects, still and shameless wouldn’t spook and spoil the candor, so I stuck with them today.  It seams the beating, breathing bunch have somehow stuck with me.

 

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