In The Perfect Light Of The Universe

he asked what I’d like to do for my birthday & I said well the weather looks alright so we could maybe go out & have a long walk & take our cameras & shoot & chat & he said sounds good, I’ll swing round after lunch & we can head out & I said good fine cool & he said see you then then

he turned up just about when he said he would & we set off into the day, which was nice & open with a good big wide open sky & perfect light for shooting all things though our favourite was to shoot the old & broken down greenhouses that were full of plants & trees & ferns & brambles all desperate to get out, all overgrown & pushing to be back in the outside world, like a soft slow green explosion which we found endlessly fascinating

we usually shot from the outside, taking photographs of the creaking greenhouse timbers & the flaking paint & the overgrowth pushing out & through the broken of the glass, but sometimes he persuaded me to join him in breaking (it was never difficult – the greenhouses had already fallen apart) & entering so that we could shoot from the inside & then it was like being in a different little world, quiet & forgotten

we would shoot & shoot & fill up our cameras, or at least the film within – my camera was a clunky old SLR that I had owned for twenty years & bought second hand, it having had a previous life with the police (& I liked to imagine the stake-outs it had been on & the evidence it had shot) & was tough as old boots, as evidenced by the fact I had once dropped it on the floor of a car ferry & it had barely put a dent in it, & I loved its weight & its mechanical processes & actually the results I got out of it were immaterial, the pleasure was in the act of carrying it around & using it & I didn’t really care what we achieved that afternoon

all I wanted was to spend a pleasant day out & about with my friend, exploring greenhouses & the time in which we lived, which was unique, the present being the only time in which we could possibly exist, & what I found interesting was the fact that these greenhouses were in this exact state now & only now & never again – there had been the boom time & the bust & they might come back again or they might fall further into ruin, crumpling & sinking into the ground like fossils, but they would never be exactly this again & I was thinking this as we both focussed our lenses on the broken glass & the dense thickets

& I thought about the fact that I might say all this when we stopped at a pub for a drink, maybe sitting outside on a bench in the slightly chilly sunshine on my birthday, the only day like it, the only moment at that exact point in time as we continued on and on, crumpling & falling through time & tumbling down again, vibrating in the light, the perfect light of the universe


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