Giles Watson CC
“Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer.”
It’s the end of Spring semester, final grades have been submitted,
and I’m thinking about my colleague who died unexpectedly at the end of last semester.
You could say, I haven’t processed his death yet-
because death is something to be processed like humans process film?
Color reversal film was introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1935,
and its processing was so complex it could not feasibly be carried out by “amateurs.”
The first step required alkaline solution then a developer
to form three superimposed negative images, one for each primary color.
The last step included washing to remove all residual
chemicals before drying, cutting, and mounting the film in frames.
There are two pictures of Andy and I together on
different social media platforms and if you scroll long enough you can find them.
The first was taken at another colleague’s birthday party
a few weeks after we met, he is on my right smiling, and I am making a ‘face.’
The last was taken at our university’s commencement
almost exactly a year before his death, he is on my right smiling, and I am making a ‘face.’
They discontinued making 35 mm Kodachrome film in 2009,
but its processing continued until December the following year.
I can’t tell you the last time I held a physical photograph,
but I can tell you it’s been 435 days since I hugged another human.
We’ve been living through a pandemic, you know, or
some of us are still living through a pandemic and some of us didn’t make it after all.
Best viewed in the Northern hemisphere in late March, April, & May
Many times more luminous than our Sun,
the variable star in your hooked tail is fixed.
Loyalty means being present when extra hands
are needed to do simple tasks: mend the fence,
affix a light cover or fold a fitted sheet.
But asking a question after the fact
is never a good idea; especially when
you don’t want to know—
I already know the answer.
Although she claims Memphis as home, Janet Dale lives in Georgia where she teaches first year writing at Georgia Southern University. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize (poetry), her work has appeared in The Boiler, Hobart, Zone 3, Really System, and others.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.