A scratchpad for photographic and literary ideas

Sunday, 1/6/13 – Mindless


As the wheels of his suitcase click-tack clack-tack across the tile floor, Jack calls back over his shoulder.

“Karen, the cab will be here in fifteen minutes!”

He stops inside the front door, pats his pockets, checking first for his wallet, then for their tickets, before unzipping the suitcase’s front pouch and verifying that their books and snacks are there.

Leaving the pull-hanlde extended, he pushes the case against the wall and listens. There are no sounds coming from the bedroom. No huffing or puffing, no footsteps moving helter-skelter from closet to bed, no zipping and unzipping. Nothing.
There are few things that he hates. Being late is one of them.

“Honey, are you ready?” His question, lost down the hallway, is unanswered. He feels his blood pressure rising. WHy does she do this… waits until the last minute… he was packed from last night… encouraged her to do the same.

He can hear his own frustration in the too-fast tacking of his heels on the tile as he walks to the bedroom. She will probably be standing there holding two pairs of shoes, looking back and forth, one pair to the other, trying to decide which to bring, which to leave behind. He will settle it by throwning them both in her case. If there is not enough room, he will stuff them in his case. No big deal.

He checks his watch and worries that the cab will arrive before she is ready.

“Kar..,” her name catches in his throat as he turns into the bedroom. Her suitcase lays open on the bed. It appears to be fully packed. Karen is sitting on the edge of the bed, her hands hanging limp in her lap, a hairbrush balanced in her upturned palm. Her eyes looking softly at the floor.

“Oh, no! What have you done?”

Even more than being late, he hates when she does this to herself.

“Have you lost your mind?”

There is no point in checking his watch, they are going to miss their flight. He fights the urge to shake this stupid, stupid woman!

“How could you do this?”

Why hadn’t she told him that she felt anxious? Why hadn’t he noticed? The doctor had told her that if things got too much for her she should just unplug for a while.

But, now?

Why now?

What was she thinking?

Why didn’t she tell him?

With each question his blood pressure rises and his frustration deepens. His hands clench into tight fists. He forces them open but they clench again as he paces back and forth in front of her unfocues eyes. Stupid, stupid, stupid…

Jack stops in front of her, red-faced with rage. He fights the urge to slap some sense in to her. Taking her shoulders in his hands he shakes her. Hard.

Karen’s head snaps backward then, as it flips forward, a small sliver of silver, no bigger than a dime, is dislodged from her hair. It falls into her lap then rolls onto the floor.

Jack releases her. Careful where he steps, he moves back, and lets his eyes move across the floor.

There! By the chair! He picks it up, removes a hair caught in one of the contacts and turns back to Karen sitting deflated on the edge of the bed.

He looks at her, at the hairbrush, then at the device in his hand.

An acccident, that’s all, just an accident.

Jack pushes her hair back and snaps the device back into the port behind her right ear.

The effect is instantaneous.

“Just brushing my …,” she starts to call down the hallway to him but is startled into silence when she sees him standing right in front of her. A question starts forming in her head.

“You just lost your mind for a moment,” he answers before she can ask, “all better now.”

“Well, don’t just stand there blocking my way. The cab is coming. We don’t want to be late.”


NOTE: The image at the beginning of this post is a composite of two other images (shown below) using a “green screen” technique. This is the same process used by news stations during the weather report to project maps and images behind the reporter. This is much different from clipping an image and placing it on top of another image. The difference is in the ability to maintain the correct detail in semi-transparent areas (in this case the area that is seen through the lens of the glasses that extends beyond the face – notice that the look of the stem of the glasses and the distortion in the lens is maintained).  I like the result and will perfect this technique for use in other projects. Right now, I am thinking about doing things with clear glass and clouds…








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  1. cooperthom Jan 7th 2013

    The story is fascinating, and the photography used to illustrate it is awesome. Yes, I’m your greatest fan. You leave me envying your creativeness. It’s not something I can duplicate, but I’m glad I’m also at least literate and have some readers. Any contests upcoming?


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