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  • There is a jumble of items littering the lining of my travel backpack, things like a toothbrush, my iPod, some money, a paper crane, my retainers, all of this is evidence of a hasty and confused flee, however, I reach in and remove a specific item, a photo. In this photo of me and my papa, age 6 and 38, we are smiling. We are nestled together on a bike, our helmets the only thing in between us, the only source of our distance in our embrace and behind us the Moab dessert fills up the rest of the 4 X 5 frame. The smiles from this photo have since gotten lost. They have been misplaced, forgotten, they are from a different dimension. But never fear, this photo has mending and shrinking powers. It can shrink distances and dissolve barriers, it can travel far. It has endurance. It starts it’s journey by leaving my foster parent’s house. It is passed from hand to hand down a line in time. Leading it straight back to a printer in Kodak. That printer begins to carefully, delicately extract the ink from that page, taking careful note to the color and placement, condensing each drop of ink into a pixel. The paper is left clean and fresh and blank, it’s heavy load removed from it’s surface. The sticky ink has been washed clean and it is left free of the weight of the memory it once held. Those pixels are now each individually implanted into the cleverly receptive piece of delicate film. Film is sometimes misconceived to be two faced and easily impressionable because it believes whatever those pixels tell it but I'm not fooled. Film is a story holder. Each story has it’s own perceptions and sides depending on which way it is viewed but film doesn’t distort anything, the story you tell it is the story it will retell. It is a dependable way to share and in this case it is a loyal friend. The film embraces this gift of information from the pixels and brings it in between its folds and begins to curl, hugging that information deep into itself, spinning it into a bundle to be cared for and stored. It nestles into the bed of a camera and rests. It gets used to it’s new body and waits in the comforting, cool, calm, and still darkness, not to be disturbed. The film is wrapped upon itself and in this bundle is left to recognize it’s potential. In each of it’s receptors is going to be a photon. But only when the time is right. But my papa and I don’t have to worry about when that time is. In this case patience isn’t a virtue. Patience is quite unnecessary and has been completely replaced. That film knows when and where. Waiting is no longer waiting because it’s coming, the photo and the information in it’s ink told them. And they never lie. They always speak 1000 words of the truth, no matter what perception.
    The sun is rising now, the colors of red and purple and pink burst open and then shrink again in the west of the sky. My popped bike tire is spitting out the thorns of the desert of Moab and of the bruises that are all too hard to avoid in the road of time. My papa’s tires are refilling themselves in tune with mine and a high pitched hissing sound of air flowing in can be heard but is barely detectable over the clanging of my papa’s chains as they realign themselves into an orderly fashion on his bike. This way he will be able to accurately switch gears without glitches. Those glitches have the potential to cause a dangerous confusion that could send him over the edge of one of the cliffs of Moab if he doesn’t have them under control, and unfortunately I would probably be pulled over with him. Everywhere the gaps are closing. The distance between two points is not distance anymore but a bond. The light being stored in that camera of the close embrace is bringing my papa and I together like a zipper that is closing two sides of a sweater together. I don’t have to be patient or be worried for the future. I don’t have to go forward alone. The entropy of the preceding in time is now rewound like the film in my camera. The scars that have been recorded in that camera are being sent free into the world, they light up the dark places and are freed from existence. I lift my left foot up and place it behind me, toe to heel as my right foot follows the same pattern, repeat, repeat, until I am being lifted up onto a bike by my papa’s strong and gentle arms, all of the potential for hurt has been erased from them. I sit next to him and we nestle in close. Our helmets the only thing between us. All of the words that have been scattered around the battle ground are getting the lights turned out on them. All of the light is being directed towards this one moment, previously stored in the photograph in the crumpled up back pack in the closet of the guest room in my foster parents house, now that moment is here. The light from the camera shoots out in rays through the lens and illuminates our smiles, making our teeth shine and giving us red eyes for a split second, only detectable in the film thats information has now all been released. The camera’s lens turns left and through the viewfinder my papa and I are left blurry and out of focus, free of scrutiny.
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