Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The summer I worked for the Mineral Wells Index, a man brought a dead rattlesnake in the back of his truck for someone to photograph. I'd been around snakes my entire life, but I sure the hell did not want to take a picture of one, even a dead one. Guess who got to take the picture? Found it in the garden, the dude said. My wife thought it was a garden hose until it started to move. I got my camera and walked with him outside to see this evil beast and startled when he pulled it out of the truck bed. His arm muscles quivered as he held the snake out to show its full length. Snakes have a weight you might not attribute to them, a way of imposing a certain vision that is not, as you might imagine, for everyone.
When I wasn't engaged in fun assignments like photographing dead animals, I took pictures of accidents. Mineral Wells had lots of them that summer, cars wrecks, boating accidents, and fools jumping off Hell's Gate, two big rocks that rose out of Possum Kingdom Lake that could kill you if you hit the water the wrong way. I took pictures of fireworks, wading into the lake while tiny snakes made v's through the water. Not a lot of things came out -- I'd lied about being able to use a camera. I could barely take a picture without lopping someone's head off. But there was almost always one that worked. It's probably no surprise that the dark room was my favorite place to be. You'd put your work in a tray of chemicals and images would arise. You could be certain that the only snakes you'd see would be the ones you'd already faced.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Tomorrow never happens. It's all the same fucking day, man." Janis Joplin
Drinking reading suggestion: All of Us Raymond Carver
Benedictions and Maledictions
Wishing a speedy recovery from her car accident to Robin of R's Musings! Feel better soon!
69 Days Until The Sopranos!