Vanished images


M Train

M Train


I had only one pack of Polaroid film with me but I had no need of more. The light was exquisite and I shot with absolute assurance, seven to be exact. All were good, nut five were perfect. I was so
pleased that I asked a lone visitor, an affable Irishman, to take my picture in the grass beside her grave. I looke old in the photograph, but it contained the same scintillating light so I was content. In truth I felt an elation I hadn't experienced in quite a while—that of easily accomplishing a challenged goal. Yet I offered a mere preoccupied prayer and did not leave my pen in a bucket by her headstone, as countless others had. I only had my favororite pen, a small white Montblanc, and did not want to part with it. I somehow felt exempt from this ritual, a contrariness I thought she would understand but that I would regret.
On the long drive to the train station I looked at the photographs, then slipped them into an envelope. In the hours to come I looked at them several times. The some days latter in my travels the envelope and its contents disapeared. Heartsick, I went over my every move but never found them. They simply vanished. I mourned the loss, maginified by the memory of the joy I'd felt in the taking of them in a strangely joyless time.(M Train, pp.197-198

(…) it was such a desolate place in winter, so lonely. Why had her husband buried her here? I wondered. Why not New England by the sea, where she was born, where salt winds could spiral over the name PLATH etched in her native stone? I had an uncotrollable uege to urinate and imagined spilling a small stream, some part of me wanting her to that proximate human warmth.
Life, Syliva, Life. (pp.199-200)