Sunday, February 17, 2013

Adding Chocolate to the Ritual, Part 4

One Saturday, Elsa decided to take her Canon to the park instead of just using her iPhone. Sometimes she did that. The zoom lens was it's best attribute along with the camera's great resolution. As if it were her lunch hour, she sat at that same park bench quietly, the camera in her lap, waiting for the shot to come along.

"Wait and watch long enough, and the action will come to you," he'd said. He'd taught her to keep looking at the surface until she saw a ripple. He'd talked to her about how you could imagine what was under the surface.

Dad had been a photographer for the Valley Gazette and a fisherman. When he died two years ago, Elsa kept his camera among the flotsam that had been her parent's home. She hadn't kept much else of his. Mom had died a slow, agonizing death of cancer three years ago and it didn't surprise her when Dad, less than a year later, had fallen down dead of a heart attack in front of the open refrigerator door. Dad had been lost without Mom.

Elsa was an orphan.

Oh, at first, it was miserable, losing the two people who loved her most. And they did love her. Mom, a quiet woman with limp mousy brown hair had lovingly combed Elsa's chestnut hair before tying it into a pony tail and plopping a floppy hat on her head for school when she was in elementary school. She'd told Elsa that beauty might lie in her thick hair but that she should never underestimate her own quieter attributes, like her pale skin and gray eyes. Mom had said that people who could see past what seemed plain were the ones who were worth holding onto. She usually looked over at Dad at those times.

"She's just trying to tell you that you should wait for the man who can see past your makeup," Dad said. Then he laughed. "Or lack of it."

Mom didn't wear makeup. She didn't paint her nails. She didn't even 'dress up.' Elsa almost laughed out loud at the park bench when she thought of that, something Dad did to tease Mom and somehow tell her how much he loved her at the same time. The ripple on top of the water.

Thank you for listening, jules 

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