Tag Archives: alone

The Funereal Photographer

Alice got home from work and pulled out the vintage Polaroid camera she’d discovered at a yard sale fully loaded, an unlikely find. She took out a small cloth and cleaned the lens, then reread the directions posted on the back of the camera itself. She was ready.

She threw on a cardigan in case it got chilly as evening approached and walked to the door to look at the world through the camera. She moved it from one spot to another with a heavy sigh. After a moment she went outside to walk around and find some photo opportunities.

Wandering around her neighborhood was admittedly not the way to find great shots, but none of her friends would pose for her. If she were honest with herself, she would realize that she wasn’t really close to any of them.

The camera was exciting, but the prospect of taking photographs of flowers and trash on the road and trees and cars didn’t really feel like the ultimate use of this rare and almost magical ancient film. She wanted to capture the image of a person. To know the feeling of posing them just right followed by the satisfaction of hearing the click of the shutter.

This was the first time Alice realized that she was alone. No boyfriend. No best friend. A few acquaintances who never called her; she was always the one dialing them, asking them to go out, and then hitting end after they declined.

She walked down the empty street, dragging her hand along a chain link fence, and looked from house to house, car to car, nobody to be found. She headed for the playground in the hopes that some parent would be there pushing their child on a swing, or teaching them to ride a bike. But when she got there she realized it wasn’t right. She relaxed on a bench and watched some kids play on the nearby jungle gym.

She moved to the swingset and let the Polaroid rest on her lap, her free hand holding the chain, resting her head against the cold metal chain.

Photographs taken by me of model/makeup artist Sarah Maccarelli, whose work can be seen here. She was great to work with and was quite the actress, considering how happy and friendly she was.

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A Birthday Alone (repost) and Her Second Year There (new)

This is something new I’m starting, a series of flashes typed onto photographs that tell a continuation of a story. This set and many others are now being sold on my Etsy.

The Rooftop Getaway

The party, her party, was in full swing, as they say. Hundreds of her friends, her friends’ friends, and many complete strangers showed up for her food, her booze, to abuse the pool and the rest of her mansion. She felt like someone was secretly filming her and she had to escape.

The living room was full, as was the billiard room, the sauna, and all of the thirteen bedrooms. The foyer was full of coats and hats, the library was strewn with half-full cups hanging dangerously close to the edges of tables, threatening her aged and antique books. People had even spilled into the butler’s quarters, vacated for the weekend by her parents’employee for a trip.

She really only had one place to go, her secret place. She trudged up to the third story and unlocked the attic door, passed piles of vintage expensive furniture hiding under old sheets, passed the old moose head and stuffed bear her grandfather had shot decades before, to the oversized window that led to the roof. She pushed it and relaxed a bit as it squeaked open.

As she stepped out onto the roof she found that some of the balloons had gotten away from the guests and somehow landed here. She stepped onto the sill and stretched, her elbows rubbing the red brick walls, making her wince and check them for blood. No blood. Just a bit of red irritated skin with a little brick stubble mixed in. She would live.

She walked onto the roof toward the slanted shingles and began tidying up by picking up a bunch of the balloons, and then she stopped and sighed. Her odd neighbor always showed up handing out random balloons to guests, the reason something she could not fathom.

She never understood how these parties happened, what led all of those people to her home when her parents were away, but they always just seemed to know. They would come, abuse her home and her family money, and then go, leaving behind a mess that would take days to clean. And the damage…if the house weren’t so big her parents would notice, but these days they didn’t seem to notice anything.

She walked to the edge and looked down at the party, then walked to the other side and peered over the slant roof down into the rectangular pool that went unused for the past few years, ever since they had the endless pool installed on the other side of the house. Captured in the water were a few more rogue balloons floating slowly around the glass-like water, and past the pool a bit was the odd neighbor, still holding a bunch of balloons.

She returned to the wall next to the window and leaned against it, sliding down until she landed on the shingles under her and she sighed, holding the balloons, waiting for the party to end.

Photos by Geraldine, who has a Flickr. The model is Manon, and this is her blog. The concept for the photographs was a collaboration of the two.

The Adult Party

Made from vintage home movies, my G5 Mac and FCP.

A Lonely Birthday

This print and many others are now available on my Etsy!

The Letter

She always dreaded that the day would come.  He had been serving in the army for a second tour of duty, and she would often have nightmares of that fateful moment.  The men would come, dressed in their uniforms, and solemnly approach her home with that letter, the typed, impersonal apology from the United States government.

It had happened to Ethyl down the street, and she spent days there, consoling her, bringing casserole after casserole, returning home with the emptied dish every night with the knowledge that she would just have to fill it up again tomorrow, a shared sympathy.  After all, it could just as easily be Ethyl bringing the casseroles to her.

And then one evening, she was sitting watching the television when she heard a car coming down the street and just knew.  She got up, still dressed from her long day of shopping with Ethyl, attempting to keep her mind off of her loss, and she could see the car slowly driving down the street.  She watched from the window, lights off, praying that the car would just pass her house.

It pulled into her driveway, a long, black Buick, and the headlights illumined the space around her, through the window.  For some reason she grabbed her purse, an afterthought, or perhaps something to hold onto when the news came.  She watched as two older men in uniform got out of the car and straightened their shirts, double-checking for perfection.  Then one reached into his pocket and withdrew the envelope.

For a brief moment, she felt a breath on the back of her neck, and she turned and saw her husband there.  The men approached her stoop.

She reached out to touch him, and he smiled, just for a moment.  The men were at the door now.

His smile disappeared, and he nodded knowingly, reassuringly, and she knew what he was trying to tell her.  The men knocked.

She looked down at the carpet, freshly vacuumed, felt the gentle caress of his hand at the small of her back, and when she looked up he was gone.