Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: PHOTOS and/or SOUVENIR(S) (vacation) (07/16/15)
- TITLE: An Hour in Back and White
By John Esposito
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“Yes mom, a long time ago and then about five years ago.”
I was holding a photo of my sister wondering what it would have been like growing up with her. In the photo my mom in sitting in a chair at the end of her hospital bed holding her. I guess my dad must have taken the photo with his Polaroid camera.
The photo is starting to get cracks in it and one of the corners is peeling. I don’t know why, but I peeled it back some more and went to touch my sister and my hand went into the photo like I was reaching into a shadow box.
Peeling it back a little more I was then able to pull my whole body into the photo. I’m now standing in my mom’s hospital room in 1963. I turned around and I can see out of the photo and can see part of the flower arrangement on the table and the ceiling in my mom’s dinning room.
Everything now is in black and white. I can see and hear everything that is going on around me, but no one can see me. My mom and sister are resting in a chair together. I know from the photo and from my mom telling me that my sister has already passed and the nurses said that she could take as much time as needed.
I decided to take a walk around and left the room. I took a right and headed toward the nurse’s station. If this isn’t weird enough, I’m seeing everything from a child’s point of view and not an adult; although I understand everything from an adult’s point of view.
Standing across from the nurse’s station I see two nurses. One is talking on one of those old black rotary phones. The other one is filling out someone’s chart. She is also eating chicken noodle soup out of the mug from her Trigger thermos and crackers are sticking out of her Roy Rodgers metal lunch box.
A door opens and an older gentleman comes out of the room that I’m standing next to, says good-by to the nurses and heads down the hall carrying a leather bag. I assume he’s a doctor.
Out of the corner of my eye I see my grandfather walk by down the hall and walk over there to see him. I found him, my grandmother, and my father in the waiting room.
My grandfather was complaining that he had to pay fifteen cents for a package of peanut butter crackers when the machine at the boat club sells them for a nickel. I would love to see the look on his face standing in front of a candy machine today.
He is also yelling at my grandmother because she’s drunk. She’s just slurring her words and not making any sense. He’s threatening to take her downstairs to the psych ward so she can dry out for a couple of days.
My dad is just sitting there with his head in his hands. His non-filter Camel cigarette is down to its last puff and getting ready to burn his index and middle fingers. He’s crying. I’ve only seen him cry once, that was when his mom died.
I don’t know what time it is or if its day or night. There are no clocks or windows here. I’m going to back to my mom’s room and see if she is awake.
As I walk in they are still resting quietly together. I can hear some papers being shuffled around and I look out of the photo where I came in. I can see my step dad gathering up the photos on the table and getting ready to put them back in the box.
Fearing I might get trapped in the photo I try and get out, but I can’t because he is standing there. Suddenly the phone rings and he leaves the room. I was then able to climb out of the photo and I was back standing in my mom’s dinning room. Talk about being saved by the bell.
I looked at the clock on the wall and its 9:30am. The last time I looked at the clock it was 8:30am. I have nothing else to say. I think I’ve said enough, and this is my vacation photo, and also my vacation in black and white.
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