Obstructed Views

For weeks I say I won't look at the pictures. I tell him no one likes to look at other peoples' pictures. He says he's a video artist, his are different.

"Yeah," I say. "There are more of them."

Tonight he's sick. He's hot. He's sweating, and I'm doing his dishes and running out to the car for the letter he left there. I'm making his bed and then lying down on the floor in the living room because his fever is so high that the room is unbearable.

Tonight, he wants to look at pictures. I say, Yes. He gets so happy, and it's so nice to be able to make someone smile, that I think I might be able to look at ten years' worth of pictures.

He has twenty years. Twenty-three if you count the camera he got when he was four. He says he knows I'm doing him a big favor, so he will start with photos from the second camera he got when he was eight. The box looks like he organized it when he was eight, and I grimace, so Tano says he'll find some that are more organized.

He comes back with a very eighties-looking paisley photo album. I sit up in bed and he rests it vertically on the top of my pubic hair line. He tells me these are very organized—they tell a story.

The first photo is Madlyn. He says, "These are photos I took while I was with Madlyn." Then he tells me, "This one is from when she was a hair model." He points to the next photo. "She couldn't wear a bra with the dress she was wearing, and she was really uncomfortable with her breasts flopping around."

Tano has caught the flopping breasts under the blue satin dress with a high-gloss finish.

The next picture is Madlyn less floppy, equally flustered. "This is the first night she slept over," he says.

"I can't do this," I say.

He wants to know why I can't appreciate his photography.

I say, "If this were really art, it wouldn't need such an obtrusive narrator."

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