Walls tumble down

The words “I do” echoed in my mind as I stood next to my friend. He had just gotten married and this was his reception. She had not interacted with my friends much before, always putting it off, never paying attention.

The music blared, and the voices drowned it out, but through it all I heard my wife call. I turned to see her. She was beautiful. She had recently lost weight and taken pride in herself in a way she had not since we married. Her hair glistened in the dim light as she walked towards me. The short white dress made her seem almost angelic and her careful grace made me thankful. We had our problems. For some time we had avoided them and when we tried to speak of them she often did not want to see my side. It is always interesting how two sides present themselves and some people can see both, and some neither care nor are able to see both, instead they just see a glimpse. The issues in our marriage were complex, I was born of passion, she was born of stability. I pushed the envelope in all ways, she held back and was reserved. I could make money easily and loved to work, she hated work but loved to spend. I was loving and romantic, she did not think this important. I was fire, she was water. It was different now, I thought she had seen more, I considered the possibility she had changed. After all she had come with me to my friend’s wedding, she was looking beautiful and the night was still young.

I went to her and held her. She smiled and in an instant I knew what I had to do, what I needed to do. I went to the DJ and asked for a request. All our marriage she had promised to dance slow with me. I had always respected that fast dancing was not what she wanted, even though I loved to dance. Here was our chance. Away from the kids it was time to build our relationship anew. I asked him to play the theme song from “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, her favorite song. I was disappointed he did not have it so I ran to the van to find my copy. I returned it to him thankful that I had a copy, asked him to play it and walked to her. It was time. Time to build fresh and time for us to understand one another. A promise was a promise and she would not break this one. The music began to play and I walked to her. I took her by the hand and smiled. She smiled back at my coyly. I asked her softly, “It’s our song, let’s dance”

I looked deeply into her eyes and saw confusion, embarrassment and more. She silently whispered, “No”

Shock ran through me. I doubted everything about myself for a moment and asked again.

Once again the answer came, “No.”

In her eyes and in my heart I knew that she had no intention of fulfilling her promise.

The anger flared through me. I had trusted again and once again been lied to. Millions of questions raced through my mind. Was there anyone out there that could be trusted? Why would she lie again? Was anyone capable of being real? What else was a lie?

Realization hit like a freight train as I struggled and tried to deny it. The truth is a difficult prospect and sometimes we avoid the truth and honestly believe people will change. In my mind now I finally knew the truth. It was over. This was the last lie I could take. Some people would say it was a simple thing. Something that could easily be overlooked. I knew different. I tried to make things work. After all, before man and god I had pledged the truth, and only been given a lie. How could I repair this break in trust. The echos of every lie I ad been told crashed through my mind faster than the speed of light as it dawned on me, the truth. What was the truth: all I had left were the lies.

The Best Picture I Never Took

Years ago I had the pleasure of working for a good sized oil company putting computers into convenience stores. The job took me all over Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. On a particular week in the early spring I was enjoying a small hotel in Cumberland Kentucky right across from my previous day’s destination and marveling over this new cable station I had never watched, something called the Sci-fi channel. As luck would have it I had to be cross state to the east in early morning so I got up at a ridiculously early time (unless you are a dairy farmer) and loaded up my van.

Now this day was a bit cold by most peoples standards, and freezing by anyone in Florida’s standards, so I turned up the heat a few notches and pulled on to 119 heading towards Pikeville. This particular spring morning I was wandering along in the mostly dark road with a few twinges of what would eventually become a day, and the fog just closed in on me like a damp hand grasping at all that I was and would be. As I drove I could not help but think about old cartoons where the characters took out a knife and cut a hole in the fog and took a bite, because I would have sworn I could have done just that. The fog , as thick as it was, seemed to grow thicker as I slowly made my way up what I could only guess was a hill, or maybe a mountain, or a peak, or even worse, a cliff! The road before me was always about 8 feet long with a line in the middle and I kept the van almost at idle to prevent the more than dangerous drops at points in some of the places I had been. The tough part was I had never gone this way before, so I really had no idea what was before me, something we all should do from time to time as safety is way to overrated.

It was not long before I started doing the fun twists and turns of finding my way up a mountain, or in this case, a foothill, or just a hill if you lived in the area. It was always amazing to me how people who lived here adapted to the hills like they were nothing, and I am sure they would have thought I was a complete non driver for making my way up the hill so slowly. For me this was treacherous and pulse pounding, for them, it was Tuesday. The fog closed in even tighter, but it was different now, instead of the dark cotton attached stickily to the front of my window, it was now blinding red cotton.  I was a bit unsure of what to expect next when I broke through the fog like a submarine being chased out of the water and was suddenly bathed in blindingly amazing sunrise perfection.

The sun had just begun peering over the horizon, but it was peering over a mass of fluffy white as far as the eye could see. Astounded, I pulled to the side of the road and got out of the van to look witness this amazing spectacle and watched as a soft wind blew the low hanging clouds to make waves of white cotton, lapping a few peaks that pieced the fluffy veil.

Being a photographer on the side, this was the best picture a person could ask for so I rushed to the back of the van and grabbed my camera bag, pulling out my Chinon CE-4 35mm camera, I twisted the film advance, only to be answered with a sharp stop signaling I had shot the last picture yesterday.

Quickly I rewound the film and opened the camera, putting the exposed canister in my bag, then grabbed another container, opened it, no lead, it was shot. So I grabbed another, it too was shot. 3 more containers and 3 more shot roles.

I stopped, put the camera down and walked to the front on the van. Leaning back against the hood I watched the sunrise and reveled in the moment I could have missed looking for film. The colors ran from crimson to gold as the sun hit the clouds and played with light. Once the sun had risen the clouds rapidly began to part and other cars finally broke through and shared a few moments with me. a short time later I got on the road again, heading down 119 with a new respect for the Kentucky hills, knowing I had missed the picture, but maybe it was better to remember it this way, after all, no picture could have ever done this sunrise in Kentucky any justice.