The You Tube
March 9, 2011 § 18 Comments
This is the real you-tube. Physical, daunting, nerving and indispensable. Public transportation is invariably a love-hate relationship. For me, surely. I try to remind myself of the love often, the gratification.
Sometimes, I go as far as being nostalgic for quirks that seem to be disappearing with the speed of light. Take books for example, just a few years ago, the subway was my book window-shopping heaven. Slumped in a chair, or swinging upright, barely holding on, I had the luxury of scanning a spittle of book-covers spread across the car. Who’s reading what now and who’s that hiding a smile behind pages and pages of stacked stories? The news of the hour was happily in my face.
No more, not much so. I don’t mind flipping open a tablet gleefully, out doing those goddamn peeping toms. But the book covers! Aren’t they for all puppies to chew on and see? The more, the merrier the terriers.
These days the subway ride leaves me hungry. So, I have turned my attention to my fellow passengers. Photographing here, let me just say, has to be very discreet. If I was the subject, I’d be jumping out of my skin at the slightest brush of an elbow or the catch of a click. The irony of an extremely public and equally self-protective habitat such as this!
I imagine that the soft pendulum-atic movements of the train were designed to calm our publicly rubbed and raw senses, to set our minds on a passive drone mode.
I’ve held on to these images for a short while now. I knew that there was so much more I had not been able to grasp & collect, take home. But twiddling with my little phone, unseen and unheard, has not been one of my better talents by far. I am more of a hello-what-do we-have-here kind of a photographer. With lesser opportunities to do so in the subway, I confess that I have felt my bravado shrinking, my hopes getting a little uncertain. The last thing I would want is for an unpleasant moment to tarnish a completely benign exercise.
So friends, enjoy this short story for now, and if there is more, I will be back, for sure, for sure.