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July 17th, 2009

My Friend’s Wife

There was a group of us, all of us excited and in various states of happy places, walking through the night streets from one place to another. I’ve known her a long time now and even photographed her as a bride. Tonight she wanted none of it, constantly hiding her face with her hands from me and my camera. I assumed it was a playful avoidance, but I’ll never really know. She was excitedly telling a story as we approached a cross walk with our green light. She was directly to the left and slightly in front of me and followed the rest of the group into the street to cross.

As she turned towards the group and stepped off the curb, I made an image similar to this one about the same time I noticed a large white van with flashing lights coming right at us… then I heard it’s siren. It was not going to stop and it was not going to avoid us. My left arm was free and the closest to her. I grabbed her bag strap and pulled her out of the way, close enough that my arm then went around her waist and I didn’t stop pulling her out of that white van’s way till we were almost back up on the curb.

I’ve done similar things before at awkward streetlights and always, always, always overreacted, once so bad I never lived it down.

This time, this night, I did not overreact.