Sunday, July 1, 2012

Beyond the surface

It was 1981, I was 15 years old and a sophmore in highschool. Cross country season was in full swing. I was where I always was during school. Hidden under a baggy T-shirt and sweat shirt. Trying to be invisable and get through the day unnoticed and unharrassed by my classmates. I was an island unto my self. No one knew me or liked me. I was not a nice person and people didn't mess with me. I was a tormented soul, lost and adrift in life with out even a life perserver to hold my head above water.

I was in art class, pencil poised over the stark white paper preparing to unleash the creative beast with me when he came into the class room.

I have forgotten his name. He was a teacher who dabbled in photography and worked with the yearbook staff.

He spoke to the art teacher and then came my way.

I didn't look up.

He stopped next to me leaned in resting his weight on the edge of the table with his palm. He said softly, "this one is just too revealing to go into the yearbook"
He slid a sealed envelope under the corner of my sketch pad and left.

My inner core chilled and the cold beads of adrenaline trickled with a sickly ooze within me.

I shot murderous glances at those around me and tucked the envelope into my lap.

I knew he had recently shot a cross country meet at the local park. I knew our uniforms were, as the team called them, "invisable white" All I could think was great! a semi nudy picture of myself, grrrrr. Just what all teenage freaks what given to them.

I open it expecting the worse.

What I found shocked me. I found a picture that has become the single best portrait of me ever snapped. It indeed was revealing. It revealed me all the way down to the depth of my soul.

There flying above the grass was a beautiful young woman, poised confident, strong, healthy and free. None of what I felt at that time (at any time?).

I recall the second that shot was taken. I was on the stretch of the course that ran parallel to the Rouge River. I didn't wear my glasses while running, fuzzing  the world to an unfocused state. I was relaxed and in my own world, I ran with my eyes down watching the ground three feet infront of me, I never looked up. I wan't thinking about the race. I ran simply to It was a time that I could be alone with my thoughts. Where I could be transported to a blurry quiet place that filled me with peace. Where my only focus on the planet was to put one foot infront of the other.

My serenity was interupted by my intruder alarm going off and I glanced up just as he snapped the shot.

He caught in a single frame of film the illusive "P". Only slightly more difficult to capture then bigfoot. Most photos of me I'm guarded and walled off. Not this one. That is me...all of me, unposed, unguarded and exsposed.

A rare glimps of an unveiled me.

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