FOREGLOW

In this picture is a homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk leaning against a one-story cinderblock building. His shopping cart filled with his life stands next to him. He unfurls an American flag over his legs, a blanket against the early morning chill. What kind of comfort or warmth can it provide? I don't have the time to pull over, get my camera from the trunk of my car and capture the picture. I've got some place I need to be. Besides the moment is here now and it'll not be the same as it is this very moment and I don't think I can catch him in a picture unaware of a lens and in a pure state. Do you see it? Do you? Look- can you see it?

Then, there is foreglow. That's the word Ellen made up about the look that would come over my face before we'd make love. I'd change, she'd say. Didn't look the same at all I'd be softer and sweeter. I don't know about that, but I wish I had taken a picture of her so you'd be able to see how she'd shift from a cute but ordinary girl, to a lovely thing o just absolute beauty. She'd take her glasses off, but the glasses off or on her face weren't the reason for the change. That wasn't it at all. The transformation came about because of the foreglow. I wish you could see what I mean. I wish I had a picture to show you the before and the right before. I'd say, " see what I mean?" And you would, too, you'd see this amazing transformation. It wasn't just my imagination at all. I wish I had a picture to show you her gorgeous face in that private moment .

And there was that time waiting in line to see a movie at the Nuart on some afternoon sometime back. Right next door to the theater was a fortune teller. Some nondescript little place of business sandwiched in between another place of business of some kind. The fortune tellers' was a place that most days you'd not even notice but that afternoon I couldn't take my eyes off the gypsy woman and what she was doing in the storefront window. I didn't want to miss a beat. It was just too rich, that moment with her and the reactions from the others in line. The very moment would have been lost as soon as I would have moved hurrying for my camera. It would have been gone. Now you see it, now you don't. What I wanted to capture was the gypsy woman with a mirror in one hand and a pair of tweezers in the other sitting in the window taking advantage of the early afternoon sunlight plucking some whiskers from her chin. She was shameless and heedless of the line of people one foot away from her on the other side of the glass waiting for the matinee. An unlit neon sign saying Tarot, a pulled back curtain and the woman sitting on a chair with tweezers and mirror in hand is the picture. See it? Can you see it? I would have liked to step back out of line and snap a roll of pictures of the woman and the faces of the people watching, trying not to stare but not being able to help themselves. There that ..look ! I've forgotten more than I'll ever know. Look!

Or that time when the earthquake hit about 4 or 5 in the morning. Outside I found most of the neighbors half dressed, afraid, cold and wide awake. I know most of their faces though not their names. We nervously huddled in a crowd when someone said, "Wow- look at the stars" and our heads rolled back on our necks and we audibly gasped like kids at this constant glorious canopy overhead that we city dwellers had all but forgotten until then. And like some baseball player rounding a base, how do I look back life to halt it in it's tracks, unsure of my bluff or intentions and whether or not to advance. This life is too short.

Don't blink. Can you see it? Look at it.