The music may stop but the dance continues.
The issue of privacy and intrusion is something I am always conscious of when I am on the street. I think if I am not, then I should leave the camera at home. I imagine these ladies felt I was a nuisance, but as a foreigner they would not have been surprised to seeing me take photographs. I came upon them on my walkabout the local market in my wife’s hometown. It would have been hard for them not to draw attention dressed as they were. These were two ladies who took pride and time in their appearance, and looked a little out of place in the market. They were engaged in animated conversation under their two umbrellas. I approached as discreetly as I could, not wanting to make my presence felt, not wanting to intrude, and I suppose not wanting to lose or convert the candid moment they were involved in. Positioning myself to their right, I set up the camera and shot. I think the little click of the shutter release alerted them and startled them a little. I don’t think I frightened them as instead of walking away from me, they walked towards me. As they did, I took another shot (see below). Then I lowered the camera, gave a bow and bows were returned and one muttered something in Korean to the other. The other nodded her head, then slowly shook it from side to side and glanced back at me still shaking her head. I raised and held the camera to my chest, smiled and thanked them in Korean – Gomapsamida!
Did I intrude here? I certainly interrupted and maybe I provided them with a little distraction and amusement on a wet day.
The two photos are best seen together, I think.
The iPhone photograph was taken on the streets of Daegu. This man approached and I could feel his eyes on me causing my eyes to meet his. I stopped before him, gave what I thought was a requesting look as I raised the iPhone, nodded a few times and clicked. All the while, he appeared expressionless as he gazed at me. I showed him the shot and slowly an awareness of how he looked dawned on him. He seemed happy and sad in the same instant. He looked away from the iPhone to me and gave the slightest of bows and walked on.
You may think sharing a bed with an imaginary friend would be a great thing. Ya, at times it is, don’t me wrong, of course it is. Nights can be long, nights can be lonely and he can be – hell, he is, great company. That is until he gets cranky and demanding. Whining like a dog about how unfair it is that he is the imaginary one. That I should be. That he was here first. It can go on for hours.
Why we argue like this, I just do not know. For years, we got on so well. Sharing our little secrets, hatching our plans, and ya, of course, bemoaning our lot and putting the world to right. I think it all changed the day I brought Julie home. I made the fatal mistake of ignoring him. Locking him in the bedroom with the light out was not a good idea. I spent the night running back and forth from the room, speaking in whispers, pleading with him to stay put, to stay quiet. Julie was nice about it all. She was a caring girl and patient with me. When she asked about who he was and I told her, I thought she was a little jealous to begin with. But it was the way she looked at me, searching in my eyes that told me she wasn’t jealous at all. It was just she did not like him. And I couldn’t blame her.
We didn’t sleep that night. We shouted and screamed. I left the house at 4 and did not return until the sun had come up. Turning the key quietly in the lock, I sensed he was there, behind the door waiting for me. And he was. He said nothing. Looked at me, with his head slightly titled to the side. His eyebrows raised, making his eyes look like speech bubbles which I had no trouble filling in. Sorry, I said. And that was it. A smile came to his face as his eyes softened. We slept right through to the afternoon.
I’ll go out with you in future, he said. We’ll go out together, he said.
Go out? I said. Out of the house? Together?
Ya! he said. We will, ya. OK?
OK. I said. But you have never been outside before.
I know, he said. We have never been outside before.