A Drifter’s Picture

by: Elena Conlee

The stories buried deep within those pictures you never remember taking…

Drifter's Picture

There are those pictures that you find. The ones in an old family album, or when you scroll too far down on Google images. Or maybe deep in your phone’s picture gallery – the one’s you never remember taking.

And they seem insignificant, these forgotten glimpses into the past. But that all depends on the person. They’re those pictures that were taken by accident. The ones where the subject has their back turned on the camera, like they’re only interested in what lies beyond the horizon.

The subjects of the photos are the things that are overlooked. The person that gets in the way of the real view.

But if you try hard enough, you’ll see their stories in those pictures.

In this particular case, a woman. There’s nothing special about her, so it would seem. Maybe you’ve passed her, or girls like her, before. On your way to the bus, or to work, or to wherever you may be going.

And maybe that alone isn’t what makes her ordinary. She doesn’t know where she’s going. But in her eyes you can still see she has the heart and mind of an eight year old, her head full of dreams that won’t come true.

She tapes large, colorful balloons to her back, wishing they’d whisk her away into the clouds. Maybe fly her to the moon. She cuts her hair on her own, and it’s never even. She doesn’t wear makeup and cuts the sleeves off her shirts.

The people tell her that she’s childish and her hair’s a mess. They say she should get a job, settle down, and marry a nice, handsome man who will take care of her. And she nods, bored out of her mind, listening while not listening while doodling in the corners of the business cards that are being shoved into her hands.

She doesn’t want to get a job, she’s too busy dreaming.

She settled with never settling.

She’s married to adventure.

She’s watching the view, but she won’t stop to look back at the camera.

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