Looking through the photographs of you, I smile. Albums going back through the years. Hundreds of snapshots of our life.
The first night we met, at the neighbours' party. You in the black dress pulling faces at the lens. Me behind the camera capturing every moment I could, not wanting to miss a second of it. I knew then that I would want to take your picture always.
Flipping through the pages, each leaf which turned hurtling us through weeks and months of happiness. The summer you spent working in the garden, tending shrubs and gently persuading the flowers to bloom. I never knew which lit up the neighbourhood more. I caress the edge of the photo – I still can't believe how lucky we were.
My friends all used to day how lucky I was when I met you. They said I looked so proud whenever I would talk about you, and loved the pictures I would show them. I miss those days.
The next album is particularly special. The candids I took of you in front of the mirror. The holiday snaps at the beach. You running through the sand and surf – still running all these years later. So content in your innocence. Then the blues and yellows dissolve into a sea of black and grey. Your sister's funeral. The smiles gone for many, many pages.
You thought it was rude of me to take all those pictures on such a sad occasion. With whom would we want to share this sorrow? Why did I feel entitled to steal these moments, cheapen them by sealing them for ever? I don't believe you ever truly forgave the intrusion. It's when things started to change.
You never liked having your photo taken after that. The smiles you'd had when we'd met were gone. The photographs no longer a memento of fun but “disgusting”. You made me buy better equipment. I'd adjust the aperture, the shutter speed. Nothing pleased you. You were still so mad. Eventually I relented and invested in a better zoom. That only made things worse.
Some cultures think when you take a persons picture you steal a piece of their soul. How much of you would I have here with me? These stolen moments seem almost like a lifetime.
The last book is almost empty. It starts with you carrying boxes – we're moving across the country. You ahead of me, to settle in and get comfortable. I'll be following in a few weeks, after things are sorted here. These pages will remain blank, reflecting the time spent apart. Times I couldn't take your picture.
But I have a new book ready. A new book for our new chapter. Who knows, maybe you'll let me show you my collection. Maybe I'll build up the courage to talk to you at last. Maybe the next picture won't be of you in tears.
The Autofocus Aperture Album A-List Playlist:
Nina Nesbitt – Selfies
The Would-Be-Goods – The Camera Loves Me
Bishop Allen – Click, Click, Click, Click
Weddings, Parties, Anything – Away Away
Melanie – Photograph
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris – This is Us
Radio Stars – Dirty Pictures
Lady Gaga – Paparazz
The Vapors – Turning Japanese
Satellites – Photograph
Goose House - Photograph
Uriah Heep – Come Away Melinda
Blowup Flashbulb B-List Playlist:
Arcade Fire – Flashbulb Eyes
Saint Etienne – The Bad Photographer
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Face on the Cutting Room Floor
Ballboy – I've Got Pictures of You in Your Underwear
10cc – Blackmail
FKA Twigs – Video Girl
The Kinks – People Take Pictures of Each Other
The Lucksmiths – Camera-shy
Strangelove – Elin's Photograph
Michael Chapman – Postcards of Scarborough
Damon Albarn – Photographs (You Are Taking Now)
“Whispering” Jack Smith – A Faded Photograph
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Exposed! Songs about photographs and photography. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
New to comment? It is quick and easy. You just need to login to Disqus once. All is explained i in About/FAQs ...
Fancy a turn behind the pumps at The Song Bar? Care to choose a playlist from songs nominated and write something about it? Then feel free to contact The Song Bar here, or try the usual email address. Also please follow us social media: Song Bar Twitter, Song Bar Facebook. Song Bar YouTube. Subscribe, follow and share.