Indecisive Moments #1

October 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

smith street, east bayside

Yesterday — I walked up to Mittapheap on Washington Ave., our most local international grocer, because we needed a can of black beans to complete dinner.  I also added a Fanta, which was bright red and tasted like strawberry bubble gum, to the shopping list at the last minute.  The girl checking me out answered:  “Mit-uh-pee-uhp,” when I asked her how to pronounce the name of the store.  Pronunciations are so important — growing up with a last name like Hotchkiss you begin to learn this lesson at an early age.  Also:  spellings.  I always make sure to double, triple, quadruple check spellings of peoples’ first and last names.  It’s one of the many silver linings of many childhood complications.

On the way back down the hill, I noticed the squirrels are getting sluggish.  They’re fun to watch this time of year, because they are filling themselves to the brim with acorns and have a harder time scurrying between slats in fences.  Rodents are impressive looking, it’s their round, dark lobster eyes, I think.  Little onyx globes nestled in plush fur.

The best episode of my short walk was at the very bottom of the hill, outside my door, a man walking from the direction of Kennedy Park, soaked head to toe.  It was a nice evening out, so his being entirely wet was so out of place.  Did someone hose him?  He was swinging his jacket at his side in a serpentine pattern, and the water was dripping from it in a steady stream.  I gave him a good girth (you don’t walk too close to entirely-wet people on an entirely-not-wet evening in my neighborhood) but when I crossed where his path had been the great figure eights of water drops made careless patterns on the sidewalk and road.

Indecisive moments are the record of mundane events otherwise unnoticed:  but given attention carry much more weight than their worth.  Unexpected animals, dainties hanging on a clothesline, the way light lies against houses — all of these are indecisive moments.  It should also be noted that this series of entries is inspired by Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” in which more specific, compositionally meaningful and fleeting moments were recorded by a photograph.

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