Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Explorer

The lonely explorer, forging through the wooded areas surrounding urban office parks on a late Friday evening, finally comes to a clearing. With camera in hand, he investigates what he thinks might be signs of that "volatile mixture of flammable liquid hydrocarbons derived chiefly from crude petroleum and used principally as a fuel for internal-combustion engines." At least that's the dictionary definition of it. It's just gas to you and him. Careful not to be seen by the panicky and quick-to-suspicion natives, he snaps a picture from afar. Sure enough, it is gas and the station selling the stuff is doing brisk business.

He walks into the store after a long, hard day, working hard but receiving very little booty for his efforts. He's one of them now, a consumer, but not a consumer of gasoline, so he's still eyed as a stranger. To the crowd of mistrusting drivers, he's seen as a walking man and thus probably a drifter. And most drifters are shifty, aren't they? Still, they're so fixated on the newly found gasoline that they pay him little mind as he pays for his snack and lottery ticket. He puts the lottery ticket into his pocket and his snack into his backpack. The explorer adjusts the camera strap around his neck, thanks the clerk at the register, and makes his way back into the dark, dark night.

Once across the street, he takes one more picture of the station. The light is low and the flash goes unused. It's an imperfect shot, but he can always hope that it is seen as "artsy" by someone, whatever that means. He's going to put his pictures on a website someday and see if he can sell any of them. The explorer isn't going to worry if they're perfect enough either. As he once heard said, "Don't let perfect get in the way of good." Art stuff and the perception of it can be so subjective that you just don't know what people are going to like. He may as well put it out there and see what happens.

The night is coming to a close. The people have their gas and the explorer has made his way back home. For now, there is peace. Contentment is achieved.

Thanks for reading.

7 comments:

Kate said...

As usual, the stories of your travels entertain me.

newton dominey said...

that might be the best telling of a walk home that i've ever read.

and the pictures ARE artsy, whatever that means.

monstermash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
monstermash said...

Absolute brilliance.

Newscoma said...

Brilliant and beautiful.

chez b├ęziat said...

Thanks all.

peach said...

I concur. I've told you before, you really do have a talent with that lense.