June bugs hit the pavement around me. First, a muted thwack as shells make impact, then a soft, unsettling whirr as wings unfurl, beat frantically in the still air.
I crouch, knee popping as I do so. Two cyclists pass, faces upturned. There! – a fleeting yellow. Then, lost, lost to the dim evening light. Their voices, high-pitched, recede quickly in the thick air. The world is silent again. Raising the camera to my eye I concentrate. On the way my hand curls at the base of the lens. On how my arms come in close, tight against my ribs. On stillness. The world compresses; it is the frame in my finder.
And I press the shutter button.
Did I get it? Did I move? Was the framing correct? I shift imperceptibly, body coming into itself, more stable now. I can feel the mosquitoes on my arm, my neck, my head, their presence betrayed by a errant, migrant tickles. I am still. Then – something larger – on my back. I tense. It rolls, a sweat bead released to the cloying night. Relax. I press the shutter button. Fire. Feel the mirror impact. Fire again. And again.
Walking home I turn, trying to catch the lamp from a different angle. I’m disappointed. The light has changed in five minutes – it’s dark now.
The next day I wake up covered in welts.
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