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The apartment was boiling hot despite the industrial fan I had semi-legally installed in the sash window overlooking the fire escape, plus my neighbour’s domestic helper was busy cleaning, which meant excessive noise until 6 P.M. So I decided to walk to the bar, three blocks from my place. I was after a drink and some quiet time at my usual table facing a bare wall, with the lone word ‘Chandlery’ painted on it.

I would place my camera on the table, get my black notebook out of the backpack and take notes. Notes of things I have just observed. Of colours and shades. Of bricks and texture. Of dogs whining and orders being hissed. Of oranges rolling on the sidewalk and a woman in a drab dress hurrying to collect them. Of time passing ever so quietly. Of passers-by passing and you not being one of them. And both of us getting away with it.

So I get to the bar and I see a guy sitting at my usual table. Sipping a beer. His camera placed on the table. And he’s taking notes in a black notebook. You get the picture: of things he’d just observed, shades, dogs and hisses, texture, a sidewalk, oranges, his time passing and slowness radiating throughout.

And I wonder.


Enthusiastic photographer. Loves stories too.