It’s achingly bright in the Yard. Gold leaves coronate everyone; the wind threatens to steal their robes. A group of people asks you to take a picture of them in front of the library. You oblige, take three for good measure, hand back the camera, smiling. A group of people behind you takes a picture, featuring you, taking a picture. After, face to the ground, you drift and drift to wondering. The day dissolves like overexposed film.

Where do people go once they pass from the edges of the photograph? Do the lives of others take place on distant planets? Are the colors inverted there?

There, somewhere far to the right of the peeling corner in the family album, 1998, were you. Taking a bath, maybe eating something, maybe prodding a bug with a leaf. You are not in the picture. But you are somewhere in the world, far, far out of the frame. Times passes very quickly there. Memory determines how quickly time passes. And then the soft matter of memory in your brain was underdeveloped film; timed passed. Time passed so quickly.

No one else can ever see your memories.

No one else can ever see the lives you did not lead.

This brings a sudden heat to your chest, stings. You aim your camera at the church steeple against the burning blue sky. A single bird dives through, is caught as a fleck, is unaware and passes on.

7 months ago

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