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March 16th, 2012

A Cup & A Pickle


Six maybe seven years ago I was in the bodega across from my home, waiting in a line. I looked behind me as I was bored and frustrated and impatient. There, directly behind me was a woman towering over me, so it seemed. I am six feet and an inch, yet she was even taller. I had to look up to see her eye to eye and I liked this, a great deal. I was frozen. I couldn’t stop staring. Her hair, her features and her stare, her stare forward and as bored as I felt, I was frozen. I was staring at her and I didn’t care and she didn’t notice. I remember her clothes, the way she shifted her weight with impatience in that same damn line directly behind me. I remember her fidgets, the way she sighed, the way she played with her hair and the way she walked by me when she left, each movement as if planned to be full of nothing but grace. The woman I had come here with noticed all this and laughed at me for being such a fool. I laughed too. Over a short time, back there, back then, I would see her only 4 more times. Each of these times I became as frozen as before. I didn’t find it funny anymore and neither did the woman I had been there with for all that time so long ago.


Then some years went by. The woman I had been there with left me and I left that place to live in the home of my grandmother far far away, a woman whose first name belonged to only to her. In all my time alive, only she had this name and I had never met another. I lived in her home for over a year waiting for something it took me far too long to realize wasn’t real. So when I knew this, with all my heart, I left it and went to another new place, far away from the there of being frozen and far away from the there where I had waited. Then, right after I arrived here where I now am, this woman of only this name, my grandmother, died before I was ready and moments before her birthday.


Then some days went by. I received a letter of electronic from a stranger on a place where lonely look to cure it. I looked, I read and I saw a photograph with a description of height. I recognized her immediately when I would later learn I was nothing but a stranger to her, I was frozen, again… It was the woman who had been behind me in line, 6 years prior or maybe 7 years prior. I didn’t know how to tell her, I wasn’t sure I should tell her and knew I didn’t want to tell her. But I did tell her, all because she found me first not knowing what I can remember…


I was about to meet the only other woman who shared my grandmother’s name.



The second time I met her we ate a meal, we told each other stories and we went for a walk and a drive. Just to make things. We found the light we liked in the dark. We parked my chariot close and left the music up, loudly. Then I would walk up behind her, place my arms around her and with her forever machine I watched her make her hands dance, just for me while I stood too close watching the forever machine’s screen through her hair as she leaned back into me.


Press Play – Her Here With Feathers In Her Hair


Before we met for the first time, we discovered that we were born just days apart, the same year. We discovered our fathers started their lives the same way. We discovered that some of the same people were in our overlapping circles from lives long ago and we discovered that we once lived across the street from one another, for a very long time. From my old there of frozen, if we were to have looked the correct direction from our doorways, we would have seen the home door of the other. We were this close for that long so long ago, yet I only saw her five times, back then.

Before we met for the first time, I told her, “I’d like to take photo of us, standing side by side, full length against a plain wall anywhere outside, two strangers side by side but holding hands.” During our first time together, she asked me why I hadn’t taken it yet. I told her it was because I was shy. She told me the light was fading and that I better hurry. So I did. I stopped us right where we were. There was a brown wall and there was a place to set my forever machine. I set the machine, got it ready, asked her to set her cup down, pressed the button, walked over to her, stood next to her, held her hand for the first time and I waited. I would only notice the pickle, at my feet, moments before I first sent it to her.



When we met for the first time, we talked and talked and talked.
We would discover that many of our lives greatest and worst moments, had the same timeline.
Sometimes just days apart.


– – –


When we met for the third time, I didn’t know it would be the last.

I only made one picture that lovely night and I’ve already shared it, before today.