Thursday, April 01, 2010

Seen And Unseen

I sat in that office everyday. It must have been something else before, a shop or something. I never asked, but why else would there have been a window like that? Floor to ceiling, wall to wall. It was like working in a fish tank.

My desk didn't face the window, it was next to it. I watched people walk by occasionally, but mostly I just did my job. Papers, computer, phone. I had replaced someone very competent and thought I had much to prove. I suspect I may have been hired for reasons other than my cv. I was an odd mix of young and old at that time and often spoke of foreign cities I had visited. My smile was genuine but my eyes were not.

I looked up from my desk one day to see that a photographer had set up a tripod on the sidewalk across the street from my window. He was older than me but young still and had that artist look - hungry, but for art, not food.

Since when was I art? I looked down at myself, sitting in my chair. Little black sweater and pearls, straight out of the 50s, minus the hope.

We had a conversation of gestures during which he told me he wanted to take a picture of me in that fish tank, but working, not looking at him. I tried to do that. I went back to my tasks and he started his. But he gave up quickly. Because even though I wasn't looking at him anymore, I wasn't the same woman.

He packed up his stuff and left without taking any pictures or saying goodbye. I could not go back to never having seen.


JMH said...

Since when were you art? Since when were you not?

Nicole said...

Art is only in the eye of the beholder.

aarkay said...

It could be that when you were at work, he clicked and captured the image that he wanted and left without saying goodbye !