I was wide awake at 5 am this morning, tossing and turning on my makeshift bed on the floor. Back pain has driven me to find solace on my hard and scarred floor. I cover my ears, protecting myself from the freezing cold of the air conditioner. My mother always said, "Cover your ears if you feel cold, it'll make you instantly warmer". She was right. I felt the shiver slowly drain down my spine hitting each and every nerve on the way, making sure I felt the convulsing warmth and chilliness at the same time, twisting my body into a tiny fur ball making me clutch on to my pillows to find some warmth. I could increase the temperature but that would just makes it very hot a few seconds later. My body is like a broken thermostat – changing its temperature as and when it feels like. I'm thinking of other things, pictures I want to take and stories I want to write. Or maybe I'll let the picture recite its story to me. It could be my teacher and I could be its student, making notes, taking details, explaining the shades and tones in the way I know best. For instance it says, "There is a palm tree, blue skies and some vignetting around the edges - write me".
I get excited, frantically searching for some paper and pen, immediately erecting my back to concentration. I write, "She wore her comfortable red shorts, the one her aunt Cathy from Virginia gave her. She paired it with a crisp white top and a summer hat. A black and blue diana camera in her hand and a brown sling bag around her shoulder, she walked out of her hotel room into the ever inviting fresh sea breeze in Nice. She enjoyed photography and switched from Digital to Analog 3 years ago. Her dad always said, " Vee, people are getting with the times and moving digital. Why are you moving backwards?" She always admired the beauty of analog, its ability to take the perfectly imperfect picture. She liked the idea of having to think before taking a shot, think about what she wanted to take a picture of, how she wanted to take it and who was to be a part of it. She was the creator of each photo.
Her favorite was a picture of a huge palm tree, with long ripe hands and a strong body. The skies were clear blue, reflecting the depth of the ocean. It had a few streaks of orange in the horizon and a smudged black vignetting around the edges. That was her first photo in Singapore. It marked the beginning of a new adventure. To her, it signified freedom and simplicity. As she walked out the spinning door, she was secretly hoping her first picture in Nice would be just as meaningful and memorable."
I pause and put my pen down, wondering if its too much or maybe to little and loose ended. I hope the photo is satisfied with the story I spun out of it. Maybe it was a story I wrote for myself, a story that I want to write after I take a picture of something that beautiful.
I hit my grey clock hoping it was 6:30, but its only 5:22 am. I increase the temperature anyway; peel off a layer of my quilt and throw my leg over my pillows. The cool air just about makes it perfectly nice for me to try and sleep. I smile thinking of nice summers and beaches. The picture is framed in my mind like a Van Gogh painting. I close my eyes and seed back into sleep. Slowly.
A few minutes later, I find myself in a nice white shirt and red shorts walking along the beach in Nice.
If I can’t have it right now, I am allowed to dream it! Aren’t I?