Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Matters of the Heart

It recently occurred to me that most of the things I thought of as romantic, when I was growing up, are largely influenced by the movies "Karate Kid" and "Before Sunrise." Andi and Daniel-san go on a date to a Fun Center (FunCenter!FunCenter!FunCenter!) careening through the parking lot in a yellow convertible with the top down, blond hair flying behind her. I didn't know that high school dances mostly consisted of girls crying in cliques in the bathroom, that the disco ball and streamers can't mask the fact that the gym still smells like feet and floor wax, even if you are dancing with Ralph Macchio, who is, of course, dressed as a shower.

I backpacked through Europe and wandered the streets of Vienna, too. By myself. The nice guy I met wasn't Ethan Hawke, and we didn't meet in Vienna. No, for my Interesting Backpacking through Europe One Day Relationship, I met the guy... in a concentration camp. Our day was spent in Munich, and our crackhead street musician didn't write us a sweet poem about milkshakes. Nope, the crackhead street performer we encountered pulled me to the front of the crowd and cracked Bill and Monica jokes while touching my telephoto lens WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. (I can handle public humiliation. I can't handle crackheads touching my camera.)

So it's summer. The part of summer that has been the happiest for me these last seven years. The part of the summer devoted to ice cream trucks, "Shakespeare in the Park" and New England. I photographed a bad, bad teen rock musical production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" the other day. There are never enough guys willing to do such things at that age, so as many roles as possible were portrayed by girls, including Puck. I was photographing the cast "backstage" (as much as one can get "backstage" when the stage itself doubles as "that cluster of trees behind the library"), and I saw Demetrius slipping Puck a little tongue in an enthusiastic teenage "Break a Leg" kiss. (He was much cuter than Lysander, by the way. Puck- you go, girl!)