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My Demons Are In Shape

Many things have become apparent to me after the passing of my wife. Some things were obvious well before she died, like my lack of skills in the kitchen, but my most recent revelation kinda stings to think about: my demons are in shape.


When people inquire about me lately, they all seem to agree that keeping busy is “good” for me, and I have been busy. I took a trip to Florida for a weeklong photo class I was hoping would knock the rust off my shooting skills quickly. It didn’t.  I was disappointed by just about everything the whole week, especially the eleven and a half hour layover in the Dallas airport.[1] Oh, and my camera and cell phone both ended up in the pool briefly as I was backing up to get a better angle of a model. The photographer in me wants to announce proudly that I did get the shot, but Best Buy is prouder to announce that I purchased my new camera from them.[2]

I kept busy after arriving home, too. I seldom shoot weddings, but I agreed to help out a young couple who are deeply in love and just starting out. It was a renaissance themed wedding, or it was a wedding at a Ren Faire, I’m still not sure, but I promise you there were plenty of photo ops. I even caught the picture every photographer hopes to get. No, not the Loc Ness Monster or Bigfoot, I have a picture of the groom’s squire carrying a plug-in-the-wall crock-pot. Yes, this explodes our understanding of renaissance history and technology. I fully expect it to be on the cover of National Geographic next month. You’re welcome.

But, after all these travels through time, water, and space ended, I was just as alone at home as before  I left. Yes, it was nice to see new things and meet wonderful people, but it all added up to being simple distraction, and that my friends will never fill a hole in your soul, especially when the hole feels like it’s still growing.

Maybe I’m doing this widower thing all wrong. Was it bad to remember how much she enjoyed flying, or how insightful she was as my photo assistant?[3] Was I silly to think even for a second that the tall, pretty, red headed woman walking down the terminal was her?[4]  Should I have noticed how very long and quiet airplanes rides are now that I don’t have her to talk to?

I learned that distractions designed to redirect me back into “life” often refocused me on what I missed. I have another trip coming up, and I expect her to be just as present and absent as she was in my previous adventure.[5] I cannot go anywhere without her, and I’m not sure I want to just yet.

I’ve heard it said that no man can outrun his demons. I agree. I have not found a place where they weren’t already there waiting for me; it’s effortless for them, they don’t even break a sweat, but if we’re going to be together any length of time, I wish they would share one thing with me…

the name of their travel agent so ALL of us can have a good time.

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[1] It’s now the policy at DFW to provide cots and blankets for those travelers stuck overnight, but few took advantage of this luxury as well as the older Hispanic man who made his bed and then proceeded to remove his shirt, pants, shoes, and socks, then snore loudly enough to cause all air traffic in middle America to be diverted through Canada to avoid being shaken apart mid-flight. And yes, he did go night-night just a few feet behind where I was napping in a comfy recliner and forced me to find shelter elsewhere lest my hearing be damaged for life. And it was only Day One…

[2] That was on Day Two, and each day got progressively worse.

[3] She had a better “eye” than me, but was often too shy to shoot the pic herself.

[4] I really believed it was her for at least a full second, and my heart stopped beating for what felt like an hour afterwards.

[5] The good news is she can swim, I cannot.

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