Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two lads, boards, and a dog

Untitled, San Francisco, May 2007.

To chase a picture means to run. You spot someone and that someone has "the thing" -- a look of ages, a stoop that carries the entire burden of humanity itself, an innocence that restores hope, beauty or horror, a hat -- and you chase it. Instinct compels it. And in the fast-paced traffic of urban life, you have to run, bump shoulders with other people without apologies, and catch "that thing" before it recedes into your ever-growing stockpile of missed opportunities.

When that someone is on wheels, as it was here, you wish you put that extra hour on the treadmill. At first I heard wheels grinding on pavement, then the sound of kids whooping, and a dog barking. The howling trio swooshed past me, and I gave chase before I could think. An old lady recoiled in terror at being flattened by the onrushing boys and beast and man with a camera. I snapped away as the dog growled and pulled away at the boy's t-shirt. One of the kids gave me a peace sign. And for a few seconds, I was part of someone else's fun and games, out of breath, but happy.

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