Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two Pictures - No Camera

(1) The setting is the campus of the University of Hartford near the entrance to the Hartt School of Music Building. Spring semester is over, so the campus is devoid of college students. But classes continue on for those enrolled in the Community Division programs.

It is four in the afternoon in the middle of June. The weather is sunny with a temperature in the low seventies -- a little cool for this time of the year, but a perfect day for baseball.

A blonde teenage boy is standing at the back of a late-model, gray sports utility vehicle. He is dressed like a baseball player -- white shirt with blue pinstripes, solid white pants that stop just the knee, blue stockings with no white cut-outs at the ankles, and polished black baseball shoes. He has the solid muscularity of a power hitter. The uniform is absolutely clean.

I never see the front of the jersey so I attempt to surmise the team that he plays for. The local high school tournaments are still going on, so he could be a member of one of the local area nines that has made it into the final rounds.

While I am striving to figure this out he swings open the rear gate of the vehicle, removes a pretty severely scuffed violin case, and heads briskly towards the music school entrance.

(2) The scene is a city street on the outskirts of Harford, Connecticut ten minutes later. The after-work commute, both vehicular and pedestrian, is beginning. I am driving slowly in the traffic while at the same time trying to observe the life on the street without running into any of it.

About midway down the block, on the sidewalk to my right, a woman is sitting by herself on top of what could be a mid-sized cooler chest. I would guess her height at around five and one half feet and her weight somewhere north of two hundred pounds. Her beige-colored jacket lies across her lap and hangs down along the sides of the light tan object on which she sits. Her pants are also of the same hue making it difficult to distinguish where she ends and the seat begins.

There is no bus stop near the spot at which she is waiting. And her posture -- elbows on thighs, upper body slumped forward, eyes straight ahead -- suggests that she is not really expecting a ride anytime soon.

Her left hand cradles the bottom of a large bag of chips and, as we pass by, her right mitt transports several of them slowly towards her equally slowly opening mouth.

Every picture tells a story don't it.

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