In the moments after my grandfather died, quiet and in his own bed surrounded by family after a protracted battle against his own innards, I took several photographs. My mother was furious but my grandmother didn’t seem to mind, probably relieved it was finally over. Later, when I watched those images slowly appear in my bathroom- cum-darkroom, they didn’t make sense. Everything from that day was there; my mother and her mother on either side of the bed, holding the right and left hands of my expired grandfather, whose eyes seemed stuck open, not looking at anything; and through the window to the back garden a row of sunflowers hanging their wilted heads in either mourning or neglect. New to the scene was the young man.
I had never seen him before and he sure as hell wasn’t there that day. In one photo he stood over the bed, looking down at my grandfather with a hand on my grandmother’s shoulder. In another he was on the bed, shirt pulled up, exposing his well defined stomach, which he seemed to be caressing in awe. In another, unbeknownst to my grandmother, he squeezed her breasts, a look of delight plastered stupidly on his face. He flipped off my camera, removed his pants and played with himself, and then flung himself out the window, bare butt translucent in the morning sun, in the subsequent photos. I showed them to my mother and grandmother and all they could do was nod. It was my grandfather, who looked to be about twenty years-old. He was always a son- of-a-bitch, my grandmother said, not surprised at his posthumous crudeness.
None of us want these photos anymore. We miss our husband, father, and grandfather, but this isn’t how we want to remember him. If you want proof of the afterlife, of the supernatural, of the human spirit’s undying commitment to being a filthy piece of shit, then you’ll love these.
vancouver, BC > vancouver > for sale > free
Portrait by Sophia Ahamed for Portraits of Brief, Casual Encounters