Brunette at Cafe on Main St.

It was around 1:30pm when you and a few of your friends sat down at the table behind me. One of your friend’s moms recently got Facebook and had started posting kind of embarrassing things and tagging your friend in them. All of you were laughing very hard at this. I also thought it was funny because my mom does the same thing, except with weird alt-right propaganda articles, and I accidentally let out an audible chuckle. Everyone at your table went silent and there was a moment where I felt like a total eavesdropping creep before all of you burst out laughing. I laughed too and looked over my shoulder and made a face that said “yah, that was kind of weird for me to be listening to your conversation but as a human living in the digital age I totally relate with the story you were telling.”

After that all of you kept on talking and laughing and having a nice time. Then I felt something. A gentle thud on the top of my head that slowly made its way down my neck and shoulders. It was your hair. You’d done a hair-flip thing and it landed right on me. I thought you’d notice what you’d done but I guess keratin doesn’t really have any sense receptors so maybe not. I chalked it up to an accident. Then it happened again a few minutes later. I looked back but no-one at your table seemed to notice. Then it happened again and again and again over the course of the next two-and-a-half- hours and I wanted to say something but I wasn’t sure if it was an accident or that maybe you were just trying to tell me something. Like maybe you thought I was cute when I made that “I am one of untold millions currently moving through this unprecedented technological growth period that has left our older generations struggling to catch up, so this is a familiar story to me” face and this was your way of letting me know. Or maybe you thought it was weird that I laughed audibly at your friend’s anecdote and you were just treating me like I wasn’t there, like your hair had more right to be there than I did because I was a total eavesdropping creep who didn’t deserve to be recognized as a present, breathing being even though I was actually at the cafe before any of you got there so if anyone had the right to flip there hair indiscriminately onto someone it was me.

If you see this, please let me know which one it is. Thanks.

vancouver, BC > vancouver > personals > missed connections

Portrait by Brenden Fortescue for Portraits of Brief, Casual Encounters

Proof of the Supernatural

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