We’re going back to prose today. I originally wanted this to be flash fiction, but there was no way I could separate myself from this story. I wrote this while I was upstate on New Years. My uncle broke out the old photo albums and went through the backstories behind every photo. It was too moving to not write about.
If you’re still in the poetry mood, go back and read “Commitment,” “When the Giant Spiders Take Over,” and “Whatll’ya Have?” because they all deserve second and third reads.
I finally took out the photo albums from the bottom of my bookshelf. They’d been collecting dust for years, and I always caught myself staring, but I was too afraid to look.
I heard my family tell so many stories about the past that pictures were unnecessary. I didn’t want to taint the images in my head because the photos would be confirmation I knew nothing about the past. They would show me the finer details: the smiles, the apartment on 28th Street, the same one I was born in, but too young to remember when we moved.
I originally took the photos out because I had nothing better to do. Our family still didn’t have wifi in our vacation house. All we had was a television, and if I watched another second of it, I’d lose my mind. I flipped through the pages and each picture came to life.
I saw Astoria Park as if I were there, because I was there only a month ago. Nothing had changed. The Hell Gate Bridge and the Triboro sliced through the park the same way it does now. I saw pictures of my father and uncles all around my age. I watched my great aunt Lidia grow up from when she was a girl in the early 1900’s. She was always old when I knew her. Even when she must have been in her thirties, she looked twenty years older. The mountains in the back of the property, which was only a field when they first bought it, were still the same, always watching over us.
And then something unexpected happened. I was expecting to see some photos that were old enough to be in a museum, but I saw the quality of the photos change drastically from black and white slides to the more recognizable 4×6 color photos every family from the 90s had buried in their basements somewhere. And then, on the last few pages, my face popped up.
If you’re interested in submitting your own work, you should check out my submissions guidelines because you’ll find that I’m incredibly easy going and I will, more likely than not, publish your work. I’m excited to read new things and I want other people to see your work too.