Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A moment, just a moment (or the frugalities of life)

When I am on the streets I am usually a hungry observer. In spite of the passers-by, the traffic and the rushed air, there is always that one moment where these busy surroundings seem to disappear in bliss. It is that second, that scene, that moment where something magic happens and captures me completely, almost in absolute slow motion. Those moments tend to touch me as well as feed my fantasy; and as the best photography, they are like images that we regret not having taken and only the story as we saw it, is there to tell.

This is a short recollection of those instants where I experienced the bliss, the magic, as I led myself be captured in a moment. These are loose episodes of ‘just a moment’ which is part of a greater story that I wish I could have followed for the rest of the day, sometimes seasoned with the imagination that this curiosity triggered then.


Kind eyes meeting each other, smiling as they gaze, but no one dares to say ‘hello’.

A puppy barks at a MUCH bigger and confused dog.

A toddler blows a kiss to a complete stranger, who had just waved him a kiss. But the mother doesn’t look happy.

A beggar thanks and smiles after a penny.

Two teenagers, holding hands, point at a pair of sneakers on a window shop.

A fast-walking blind man smoothly clearing his way to the train as he waves his stick, and firms the leash of his dog.

Fresh white tall roses rest in a biological trash bin (I should have taken them).

The wind teases the sad feathers of a seagull lying dead on a liquid red spot.

A break-dance street show and a clapping boy on a wheelchair.

At the park, a grandmother with a child blowing soap bubbles as she obeys him and chases.

A silly joke and a toothless old man laughing widely, and people don’t know why he is laughing but they laugh because of him.

The flower seller offers red roses to a young man who buys a dozen on his way to the cemetery.

A couple fights on a corner and part ways, each of them head in different directions, only he turns his head, many times.

Two friends finding each other for the first time in ages: the giggling, the hug and the words ‘you look amazing!’

A gray haired couple waiting for the bus: he sits, she stands with her arm around his neck and talks whispering in his ear.

A very rude man curses at another man who, in change, without saying a thing, walks away, in each hand, tightly holding his wife’s and child’s.

The ice cream seller and a crying child pointing at his favourite frozen flavour melting on the pavement.

A shoplifter is being handcuffed and people slow down their pace but pretend they’re not looking.

On the bench where I kissed him for the first time, two young men cuddle.

The hallelujah singers preach the word of Jesus on shopping evening, in every two sentences, the word ‘hell’.

During three crazy days, the bright yellow bags with big black letters and people shopping in madness, as if buying stocks for their nuclear shelter from the Harrod’s of The Hague.

The Hari Krishna guy who told me to go a cash machine when said I had no money.

It’s been raining in late autumn and a young thing girl with punctures and scars in her bare arms sells her wet and last ‘homeless newspaper’ in front of a supermarket.

The street workers stop their noise to look at a woman but say nothing and with pleased smiles, they start drilling the pavement again.

The proud girl and her most-handsome boyfriend who turns around to look at a passer-by: a tall long-legged woman, in heels and a mini skirt.

A man that looks like my father but is not my father or a man that looks like my dead friend but it’s not him either. A woman that looks terribly like me, but it’s not me – and she smiles and I smile, as if both meaning “I know what you’re thinking”.

Oh well, what the hell does SHE really know I think? Who does SHE think she is? She only sees what she sees. I, instead, ‘photograph’ her story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jerry, if you read this, this is what I meant after watching New York, I Love You with you :-) Amapola