Back to 2011

Selfie 2011

One day in the early spring of 2011, I decided to hike up a mountain of hard packed snow. It overlooked a small city of buildings and cars. The air was like Jack Frost, nipping at my nose, and little flakes of frozen water were falling on my messy head of hair. The perfect place for a self-portrait or profile shot, or selfie as it is called now but wasn’t back then. I took my camera phone, held it out at arms length, tried my best photogenic look, and pressed the shutter button. I’m the king of the mountain, I thought, standing there and looking all around the sleepy campus of Spring Arbor University. I was nineteen years old and just finishing up my first year of college there. I actually lived in my own house with my family right on campus, though we moved out of there a month later because of some unsolvable disputes between a stubborn relative and the rest of us.

2011 was a year of discovery for me, trying to find who I was inside. It was the year I first picked up a guitar and tried to learn how to play it, repeating lots of the boring stuff over and over again. It was also the year I truly felt on my own, having graduated from high school the year before. I felt the pressure on me to find my own way because no one was going to tell me anymore and that made me feel vulnerable and alone. But of course, I felt like a rebel kid with my black leather jacket on, walking out there in the cold with a little strut in my step, but not too naïve to realize I was a little man in a big world that seemingly had no directions laid out for me. It was my job to write them myself.

This picture of me hails from the social construct of Facebook in one of my older albums. Everything seemed so much different back then, more fuller and livelier, but then again the people that died recently were alive in 2011, including a number of my relatives. And we weren’t all spread out across the country. I wasn’t even making any money back then, like I get to do now by donating fluids from my arm for life-saving medicine. Time marched on.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snapshot Stories.”

Open the first photo album you can find — real or virtual, your call — and stop at the first picture of yourself you see there . Tell us the story of that photo.

Advertisements

The Last Taken

PTDC0001

The frightened woman ran across the street, gasping for air, trying to elude the evil tyrant Ivanova. She came to the beginning of a sparse wood, not hesitating to stop and find a way through the trees. Mr. Ivanova was hot on her trail, Swiss and Wesson magnum trailing behind him, a trail of blood being left behind from the wound to his left abdomen. The women barreled through the woods, snagging her clothes on the low hanging branches, fighting her way to safety. Heart rate going through the roof and perspiration wetting her forehead, she kept on going, not noticing the fabric of her linens getting tears from the various thorns protruding from bushes. But just as she saw an opening, the bright light of the sky through some bare branches, she stumbled over an earth root, landing face first into the fresh bed of snow. Trying to get up, she felt a stabbing pain in her right leg; something had obviously bent unnaturally. She muffled her scream, clenching her teeth, trying to crawl forward, now leaving her own trail of blood on the white. She began to sob, lightly then uncontrollably, knowing that she was done for. Mr. Ivanova was very close – she could here his footsteps getting louder and louder. Frantically reaching around for her backpack, she pulled out a device, a camera, and swung it around to her side. Trying with one last effort to stand up, she managed to find support from a nearby tree, a terrible, burning pain in her leg.

Ivanova had entered the forest, stumbling through the trees, clutching his side, already having lost a lot of blood.

“Give up…”, he gasped, raising his magnum at a spot in the trees, shaking, barely able to stay upright.

The woman steadied her camera, getting the scene into focus, and, with one last look at Ivanova’s profile in the distance, snapped the picture. Everything seemed to stop for a few seconds, the little clearing in the wood becoming a blur in the woman’s eyes. A sharp, piercing sound reached her ears, but she barely heard it over the sound of her heart, pumping harder than ever to keep her alive, the blood from her wounded leg soaking the inside of her right pant.

A bullet came whizzing through the brush, and hit her straight in the back. She fell to the ground in with a soft thud, a red pool covering the ground in seconds. The camera tumbled from her hand and landed about a foot from her, the last picture she ever took contained within it.

Her assailant dropped to the ground as well, his gun tumbling out of his callused hand.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: A Moment in Time

What was the last picture you took? Write a post about it and what it means to you.