Take Pictures

tourist 1

I am a tourist. People don’t love that I take photos, but I am expected to. It is part of my role here.

The Little Businessman and Co. like that they can be tourists with me.

Last night, walking up Alcala, they asked, seeing a girl in a red dress: “Cellular?” They wanted my phone and for me to take pictures of the fifteen-year-old celebrating on the steps of Santo Domingo.

At a hotel, a bride and her father stood outside sharing a private moment with a photographer – and us – to document it.

I wonder how many strangers’ photos we need to show the life of Oaxaca, but I take one anyway.

The Little Businessman and Co. make videos of themselves talking into the camera; they catch snippets of noise; they arrange still lifes of trash, but they are less confident in taking pictures of people who might notice them with the lens.

They will even hide the phone when other vendors approach (though it is undeniably glowing under a scarf or against a backpack).

They have a long way to go before they will be able to offer to take a struggling couple’s photo outside of the church. In fact, they may be already obsolete with the invention of the selfie stick.


new years fireworks!When I was a child, my family spent many Fourth of July celebrations on the banks of Atascadero Lake, watching fireworks shot over the water. One of these nights, exhausted from a day of sun and water, I thought I saw the fireworks form a smiley face and than an American flag. Later though I wasn’t sure if I’d really seen these formations; maybe I had been dreaming them. Decades went by and I did not see another smiley face or flag. I didn’t see much more than fountains and blossoms and shooting stars.

But recently I saw several sideways smiles, a few Saturns, and hearts going every direction. Alert, in the cold night air, I am certain these fiery configurations exist. I wasn’t dreaming.

new years fireworks