Photographs consist of frozen pantomimes. The silent smiles, the toothy grins, of imaginary kisses in the air and sticky chocolate fingers in the hair, salient moments caught forever within a tight bright window.
Let human memory be ravaged by necessary forgetfulness, my pretty pictures will stand against the onslaught of time, recklessly defiant to the very end. For better or worse. Going on auto play each time the yellowed pages turn, what is to stop a fool from reminiscing?
I recall a picture taken when I was 3 years old, clueless in a blue frock standing unsurely in the middle of the floor, with my mother at the corner of the frame, persuading me to smile. Oh she looked lovely with her pale skin and long straight hair. My dad was always the one carrying the camera, so antiquated that we needed to but new flash bulbs every time we had to take a picture. It was expensive.
The earliest family portrait was taken when I was about one. Classic 70s picture set against a forested landscape bursting in bright autumn. The roman columns added the sensual mystique that was the Chinese photo studio. Paired with beige bellbottoms, Father had on this patterned shirt that was as art nouveau as the next flower pot. Mother looked beautiful with her long hair and flowing gown, the vintage Galadriel. I was that staring toddler, slumped on her lap, looking so sexless if not for the frilly dress. For the longest time my brother entertained a belief that it was him in that picture.
And now after 30 years of marriage my parents are one the verge of separating. One is out of the country, one is constantly in tears. The family is broken and all that I have is a cardboard box of happy photographs. How I stop going on auto-play?