I look right…I look left. I do not see him. Maybe he has seen me and decides to leave unnoticed. I glanced at my phone. There’s still five minutes left before I call this rendezvous closed. I look at my reflection from the window in front of me. “Everything looks in place”, I thought to myself. But where is he? My stomach is in knots and my breath is shallow. I feel faint. I take small steps in front of me so I can get a better view. No, nothing yet. My watch says 30 seconds and I begin to sweat. What am I afraid of? It’s not like I haven’t done this before. Maybe he won’t come and then I can just go home. I take a tissue and blot my forehead.
I look left…I look right… I close my eyes and listen to the voices in the crowd. It’s a cacophony of pitches and sounds. I concentrate really hard hoping I can hear the familiar voice, but nothing. “What’s the use I tell myself…it’s just a waste of time”, but is it? It just takes one meeting. That is all you need and then you know if that person is the one. Just one meeting and then maybe I don’t have to do this anymore.
I look left…I look right. I look for my subway pass and begin to walk towards the stairs. Vivienne? There in front of me stood this dark haired rugged looking man with a gentle smile. “Yes! Thomas?” He nodded and smiled even a bigger smile. Coffee? I said, “That would be nice”. He took my arm, but before we walked, we looked left…and then we looked right…
I always thought if I would go to Paris, France that I would be able to fit in somehow. That I would not be judged because I’m brown. One day as I walking in Paris, a couple stopped me for directions. I said I didn’t speak French. They took one look at me and said to each other an “American”, and walked off. If I hadn’t opened my mouth I guess I would have blended in, but alas, I was found out. There will always be racism wherever you go…or even you might have your own biases. I admit I have mine too. But this scene was so telling, that I had to share. A bientot.
I have been coloring my hair for over 30 years, but for the last two years I decided to stop. I wanted to see what my hair really looks like. It’s not quite silvery white, but it’s getting there. At first my kids said they didn’t like it, but after awhile I guess it grew on them. You know what the strangest thing is that when I use to color my hair, I didn’t get any attention, and now that I am grey, I am getting more attention then I use to. Go figure… My next goal is to try to let it grow, but since my hair is super curly and dry, I can look like a cotton ball, but there are so many new products out there to tame the frizz, that maybe I will be brave and see where it takes me. They say now that grey is the new black, and I think with the right makeup, accessories, and wardrobe…we can all be silver foxes. I know I am striving for that.
If you ask my son, he would say her image folders are filled with hundreds of self-portraits…and it’s completely true. I do take countless photographs of myself. You see when I was a child I didn’t consider myself being attractive. I mean I was always glued to the TV and all I saw were perfect people…with perfect noses, and perfect hair. It wasn’t until I got older that I began to be noticed. It wasn’t the head turning kind of notice, but still I was happy with the compliments I got. But everyone has a good side and a bad side, and my left side is the best. In fact, when I look at the difference, it’s like seeing two different people. When someone else takes my photo, I cringe because I know they will get my bad side. In my work as a photographer I study the face and see how I can bring the best out of them. So, yes, I will continue to take my own self-portraits and see how I evolve through the years. Even embracing my winkles and age spots…
Memories are like photographs. Glimpses of times past, clues of uncertain futures, and questions of why you are the person you are. My mother was always taking photographs. She took photographs to keep the special moments fresh inside her. When she passed away I found photographs that I didn’t even know existed. I was surprised but sad at the same time because she was gone now and I could not ask her who these people were. As I was going through the stacks and stacks of photographs I came upon one that kept my gaze for a long time. I was trying to see if I could look into this person’s eyes and read her thoughts. The photograph was of my mother when she was about 17 years old. She looked sad and alone. Perhaps the exposure took a long time and she became tired of posing or perhaps she was angry with her then fiancé, my father. It is difficult to say what was in her mind.