Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This Is What Freedom Looks Like

This is actually a picture of an internet friend of mine, Chris B.

Er. e-friend. Someone I met online. You know, there's no way to phrase that that won't make you stand up and holler at the screen "YOU ARE A GIGANTIC NERD". So I'm going to stop trying to make it normal, because damnit, I'm not, not very, anyways.

Oh shit, I should've gone with penpal. There's nothing creepy about penpals. Damnit.

Onto the picture.

My dad was big into candid shots. He'd sorta stalk his kids, us jumping off the couch or trying to suffocate each other or throw small, blunt objects at each other with surprising regularity. He'd hold this Canon point and shoot by his leg, all spy like. And then, snap. We'd all go "aww maaan" like this was the most worstest thing he could do.

Of course, years later, some of those pictures are pretty priceless. One of me playing 'Submarine Captain' in the toilet comes to mind. Legs fully in, half crouched in the toilet, turning around to look at a camera that has spot me before I 'dive', presumably. I have to salute my dad for not actually rushing to take me out of a teeming mess of fecal coliform bacteria and possible drowning. For not first thinking "my god, if he slips, and hits his head...". Nonono, the first thought that came to his head was, "Camera.. where's my camera?". This picture was the source of untold mirth and retelling for my parents.

Anyhoo, that's been my thing with my kids, candids. I love candids. They are stupidly hard to take and you end up shooting 400 shots before 1 even makes you go, 'meh'. But when you can capture that essence, that unguarded moment of just 'being', damn, there's nothing better. I've seen a lot of candids, my dad pretty much took candids exclusively.

So believe me when I say this candid of Chris B has got to be one of the bestest candid shots I've seen. Lots of awesome stuff going on.

The car, for one. It's some sorta 70's behemoth made from 120% American Steel that gets slightly better gas mileage than an Abrams. That steering wheel looks like it's aimed at Chris' head, so if he ever got in accident, the non-flexing, kinetic-energy transfering 120% steel car frame could direct all it's violence upon his head, taking it clear off. No months of rehab, tragic paralysis for him, thanks.

The passenger seat is filled with a drum. Not a girlfriend. Not his little brother who needs to be taken to a viola recital. A damn drum. So you know that trunk (that could probably take a small Olympic-sized pool) has the rest of the band setup stuffed in there.

I'm pretty sure there isn't a seat-belt on that monster. Or if it is, it's a glorified rope with a buckle. I'm positive that if put on correctly, it would in no way impede the progress of your head smashing into the steering column. It's probably only good for trapping you in your seat should you go over a bridge, or pinning you just long enough for the engine fire to engulf you.

And then there's the subject. He's got that great look of someone who's never, ever going to die. The culmination of perhaps 4 years of high-school band perfected into a garage-rocker extraordinnaire. There's something so carefree about him. Maybe its the fact that he looks about 15, or the brave attempt at a moustache, or the longish hair that proclaims to the world that 'He doesn't need your corporate job, man'. Maybe it's that so in-the-moment glance of "I'm listening, hurry the fuck up". Or the feeling that he could either be listening to his mother asking him to 'please pick up some eggs on the way home', or his buddy about 'how you still owe me twenty bucks for the Mary Jane'.

That picture is like a timeless capture of the invincible, innocent, limitless youth.

Don't know if it's better than the Submarine Captain.


Chris B. said...

Thanks, man. You pretty much nailed it. Do you also read palms?

(I forwarded it to the photographer, too.)

Niteowl said...

RAD cheesoning.

Gemmy said...

Totally dead on! Great pic, great post. AND I discovered that Cheesey has a blog! ;)