So, truthfully I’ve been stalling from writing this week’s FOUND Photobooth entry because the photostrip for this week makes my heart ache. I found it in the summer of 2007 on the floor of Kingsway Mall in Edmonton, back when the mall still had a chemical photobooth. This is what I see:
Roy only has Angie on weekends. He clears all other plans and is careful to never schedule anything that might interfere with this precious time. She has her own bedroom at his place, there is a Winnie the Pooh wallpaper border and a crib, but Roy bought a little bed and is ready to assemble it as soon as she’s big enough.
Angie is short for Angela, her middle name is Margaret, the same as her maternal grandmother. She is most often under the care of her mother and grandmother and very seldom fusses. She enjoys watching Sesame Street and eating bananas. She does not care for talk-radio or dark leafy greens. Angie understands that Roy is a nice man but is sometimes confused why he is being so nice to her. At times he makes a funny face at her she can’t help but abrupt with laughter, other times she is overwhelmed by the complexity of the situation and bursts into tears.
Roy brought Angie to mall to pick out a few essential things for her that he can keep at his place. He spotted the photobooth at the base of the escalators and thought a photostrip of the two of them would look great pinned to the refrigerator door. The last time he’d been in one was years ago, with Angie’s mother.
Crammed in the tight dark space, Angie grew anxious and increasingly confused by the bright flashes. Roy held her tightly in frame but Angie misinterpreted his actions and felt a flood of momentary panic. Roy soothed her confused tears away in the three minutes that the photos were processed.
Roy’s optimism for their big day together diminished when he saw the developed pictures. Not only did they not turn out as the happy candid photos he imagined but they reflected back an awkward image of him as a parent. Angie typically posed well for photos, it had not occurred to him that this was her first time in a photobooth.
He tried to relay what had happened in the big funny machine to Angie by showing her the photos. She didn’t however even register that the pictures were of her, being used to seeing a playback of photos on the screens of digital cameras. Roy put her in the stroller and gave her the pictures to hold on to. While he tried to remember their next stop, she let the photos fall to the ground, as they proved to not be very entertaining.