Non-Euclidian ping-pong

May 27th, 2014, 2am

It was 17°C with few clouds. The breeze was light.

I have made a book. It comprises pictures of you, from being very small in your mother’s womb to your present glory of turning 18 soon.

Supposedly, making this kind of book is totally easy. You send the pictures along with the money required to some printing outfit, and two weeks later you have the book. 1, 2, 3, simple as that.

The devil is very small, so that he fits into the tiniest details. He’s sitting there, on the wait, sniggering from time to time. In this case, it was about choice, color spaces and emotions.

In essence, my task was to tell the story of an 18-year old boy in about 100 pictures or so. Choosing was hard. Seeing you grow up again, in time lapse mode, was strange. What a sweet child you were. What a cool cat you have become. Sure, there’s some me in you. People always commented that you looked so much like me. Truth is, you’re more relaxed, more confident and better looking than I ever was. Yet yesterday you found some large lucanus cervus sitting on the tarmac right next to your way home. You saved it from being crushed by some motorist or cyclist, because you are a kind person. When showing me the pictures on your smartphone and telling me all about it you once again turned into that seven year old who was in awe of caterpillars - weren’t they like transformers, but for real? You didn’t take the beetle home. After close examination, you set it free, which was the right thing to do, because it’s an endangered species. You learned that after the fact, from looking it up on Wikipedia. When you were born, Wikipedia didn’t exist.

Some of the pictures I chose told me about times when fatherhood felt like non-Euclidian ping-pong. I just didn’t know what to do about your hate for school. You did. You gave it the finger and smiled your way through it all. A skill I never mastered.

For general knowledge, you accepted only movies. I’m glad you did, because that way we could discuss politics, history, society. Things your school apparently totally forgot about, which was just as well, since you wouldn’t have listened to your teachers anyway.

I chose the pictures. Some of them were in the wrong color space, so I had to convert them. I hope they’ll turn out alright.

The devil can be a pain in the ass, but usually he’s not that evil. His main objective is to inform you that the world is not yours to control. Or the colors of your pictures. Or your memories, for that matter.

Christine, Shu, Steve, Philippe and 8 others said thanks.

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Marcus Hammerschmitt

Writer, journalist and photographer. Eighteen books so far, on paper and on screen. My biography is boring, my life is not.

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