Friday, March 4, 2011

Radio pictures, Burlesque, Real tests

I was taking a photography class on the sandy ocean beach. There were other students facing south towards a teacher, listening tentatively to his interesting lecture. He was a great man.

The waves were crashing and the sun set behind wispy clouds. Bold colours of black sea with white caps, orange and pale blue sky with pink clouds took our attention. All students pivoted in their seats westward, towards the setting sun. We were in California.

As our last activity, the teacher handed out cameras and we were to photograph the scene before us. He gave them to us, one by one, all shapes and formats. But when he got to me, all that was left was a radio.

"How am I supposed to take a picture with this?" I asked, rather agitated that I wasn't given the same opportunity as the others. It was an old transistor radio after all, not meant to record anything.

As the old man teacher came towards me to assist, I pointed the radio at the sun and turned the knobs in hopes to capture something. He told me to photograph with my eyes and use the radio to complement the composition, my imagination will carry me through.


I left the class rather upset, I wanted to photograph the sunset but all I had was an image in my mind paired with static from the radio. I felt sad and wanted to retreat to an isolated place in the school, to be alone.

I went up to the 5th floor thinking it would be quiet, but two random women lost in the school complex followed me. Once through the doors, it was obvious all the dancers were rehearsing for a burlesque show, pressed against each other in their feathers and head pieces.

I walked straight through the corridor and back outside as quickly as possible. Scene change.


Later in the city, I found Molly and we went shopping for new boots.

After we wore our purchases out, we walked together back to school. Her boyfriend Vince walked ahead of us. He was wearing light blue dock martin boots which I loved, but he walked off-kilter and I remarked to Molly that I thought he was a bit strange. She agreed.

"Let's walk through the park and put the test to our boots." She suggested, and we cut through some trees to a garden. She went around one way and I went the other, finding puddles to step in as we ventured through shrubs and flowerless flower beds. At the other side, we discovered a flood.

The school had become a lodge on the far end of a black lake, hidden in tall spruce trees that glowed in sunlight. "Here's the real test." I said and swung my book-bag around to my back. Thank god I left my computer home. Stepping into the water, I could feel the wet seeping into my boots and soaking up my jeans. "I'm gonna have to go home after this Molly."

As we submerged into the water to swim across to the school, the lake became a pool, cyan chlorine blue with clear water.

Then a text message from Molly woke me up.

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