I certainly can relate to the dynamic the Daily Prompt asks us to describe. What can we say about something or someone we connected with from the very first second?
I’ve made real estate choices solely upon my initial reaction to a place. When I moved to a condo after my divorce to The One, it was the setting near the Grand River that convinced me: buy it.
I responded similarly to the property I bought when The Performer and I set up house together. The jolt to the heart, a flip in the gut. That moment of recognition, of connection, of “yes”.
(Hmm. Now that I think of it, I felt sparks with the guys, too. Perhaps I should focus this talent on real estate and not romance, you think?)
Either way, as far as the daily prompt was concerned, I couldn’t think of anything to say more than that, and thought I’d give the prompt a pass.
The image is a scan of an Associated Press photo that the local paper used as filler sometime in the early 80’s. The boy was caught playing with matches. His daddy took the shot and submitted it to the press. A precursor of the shaming dog and cat memes that circulate the internet today.
The photo stopped me with a powerful jolt when I first saw it. My heart melted, tears welled in my eyes, and I felt a strong pull. He looks so sad and vulnerable. He’s probably a redhead. Look at those little knees and those little ankle socks! You can almost smell the little-boy smell. Of course, he probably needs a bath!
I clipped the photo and showed it to my friends at work. They nodded politely, “Yes, Maggie, he’s cute.” But they didn’t see what I saw.
Which was what, exactly? Why was I compelled to hold on to the photo? He’s no one I know. Yes, I have a thing for little red-headed boys, but not to the degree that I clip out photos of random redheads. Just THIS random redhead. Caught with his hands in his pockets, full of remorse, and pouting in the most adorable fashion.
As near as I can figure, as I consider the question for the first time, I identified very, VERY strongly with the sense of shame that this photo portrayed. This was around 1982, when The Cowboy and I divorced. Anytime it came up in conversation, I’d lower my eyes, put my hands into my figurative pockets, and whisper, choking back my shame, that, “I am divorced.”
It took me years to get over the fact that I was a D.I.V.O.R.C.E.E. I can remember the relief when I’d read studies that announced divorce rates were climbing: from one in four, to one in three, and now, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Yay! I’m normal!
OK, no comments from the peanut gallery!
I wonder who the little guy is? Does he know his picture was in the news? Did he get over his firebug stage? Did he get over his shame?
Wish I could tell him thanks for the teaching moment.
*** *** *** *** ***
Keepsake: Sparks Fly is the sixth in a series
Categories: Blog Blog Blog