Friday, June 4, 2010

Ruminations on an Unknown Life

My car radio is on vacation. It does this every once in a while. I thought it was back this morning since it worked for about three minutes. My tachometer acts weird too, but I’ve learned to live with that. We tried to get the radio fixed, but there aren’t repair people in the world anymore. My appliance repair guy fixes things over the phone. Maybe I should call him. I don’t want to replace the entire unit because I love my four disk CD changer. It’s just right for the 150 mile trip to the beach I make every two weeks.

Anyway, once in a while the sound begins misbehaving so that there’s a few seconds of sound when you turn it on or start the car and then nothing which gives me plenty of time to ruminate these days. Recently, following my weekly trip to Goodwill, I ruminated on the clues we leave behind about our lives. We tend to think of archeology having to do with ancient civilizations, but I’m more contemporary in my digging.

Purple is my favorite color and when I’m shopping my eyes scan the goods for shades of purple. My eye lit on a photograph at Goodwill what either by age or design was purple. It wasn’t a very clear picture, almost Impressionistic in fuzziness. I turned it over to see if the photographer had signed it or if there was information about the picture where I found a handwritten statement: “Looking East toward the Med from Harry’s place in Fuengirola, Espana, 8 PM New Years Day. Taken with one minute time lapse” this explains the dreamlike quality of the picture. The handwriting speaks of another era. Taken in 1980 the photographer is most likely dead. It is a moment of at least two lives in a very pretty place.

Through the what I still consider the magic of the Internet I looked up Fuengirola. It’s beautiful and I thought of this moment of an unknown life captured forever. Was the photographer a man or a woman? Whoever it was had a friend named Harry who had a house in Spain and spent New Year’s with him in 1979. Harry is not a Spanish name so he was an expat of some variety, either an older American or a Brit? Having never gone anywhere of note and having no friends with homes on foreign shores, I find the whole thing rather romantic and certainly entertaining enough to get me from Goodwill the four miles home in a silent car.

Postscript: I couldn’t get the photo out of my mind so yesterday I returned to Goodwill and purchased the picture for $1.99.

1 comment:

Kim Thompson said...

How interesting! What a cool thing to think about. Now you've got me thinking too!

I love your attachment to purple. I think it's endearing.

I am attached to red. My fave color in the world. All shades.

Now, back to pondering your find.