A Strange Night

Posted by Burtman on
Nov 24, 05:56.
November 24 2023, 05:56 am.

Mar 20, 00:20.
March 20 2024, 12:20 am.

Read Time: About 2 Minutes

It was about this time of year when I was advertising for crew to shoot a music video. I'd had a meeting booked to interview a make-up artist and I'd gone into town and sat in a cafe to wait for her. The pizza rolls were pretty good, the coffee, not so much, and the girl, well, she never showed.

I wasn't hiring much at the time and it'd ticked me off a bit to waste time in the cold city when I could have stayed home and worked on my soup-eating skills, but I decided to make the most of it. As usual, I had my camera with me, so after my lunch, I slipped myself back into my thick winter gear and set off to document the place, this time, focusing on the people.

I shot fifty-or-so images and went home to look at them on the big screen, to see if they felt the way they did when I took them. If not, they'd be mercilessly cut like the traitors they were.

When I came through the door, the apology came from the girl who wasn't there and after running it through my crud filter, it came out more or less clean, so we arranged another meeting, this time, at the Latin art gallery, as I'd already be there for an event.

It was an intimate crowd, and after a presentation from a visiting artist, I was approached by a jovial American who invited everyone to his place for a small party. Nearly everyone took him up on his offer, so I went along, too. We had our meeting there, and after mingling in his tiny apartment for many hours, many of us had became friends. Over the following months, we all saw a lot of each other, shared our work, visited each others' homes and did things together in the city.

Then, one night, a collision occurred of two fragments of my world, when the core of this crowd convened at a place where a significant part of another crowd happened to be. Like a kind of glue, I brought the pieces into fusion and enjoyed watching the two gangs become one over a number of drinks and common interests.

I realized, at one point, that I knew almost everyone in the place, and it felt like I'd finally found somewhere to belong. I smiled contentedly to myself as I walked around, chatting with all the people I'd met and basking in the warmth it had created. There were musicians, photographers, painters, designers, writers, actors, producers, directors and sculptors, to name but a few professions, and the bar was just right for such a crowd, covered from floor to ceiling in writing and photographs, autographed band posters and postcards from all around the world. The music was just the right volume and style to wash over the conversational gaps without blowing out the highlights. It was a good vibe.

As I enjoyed it, I walked from one table to the next, catching glimpses of solitude between them, and focusing them on the surroundings. Somewhere in the corner stood a small piano with a glass front. In the colored light, it gave some interesting shapes back to the room and I wasn't exactly sure how to photograph it. There wasn't enough space to get context and a close-up was too abstract to make sense. I wasn't often stumped when it came to popping a shot, but this one got me good.

There are some things that stick in your mind, and usually for the oddest reasons. That night stuck in mine, despite all its richness and warmth, because of that piano that stumped my eye. I will long remember the evening with great fondness and I still enjoy looking at the numerous portraits and sneaky snaps we took of each other, but I will share only these, as I haven't the consent to share the rest.

A wall of commentary and color, and the fruit juice of a fellow tea-total known to me as Geo.

That darned piano I just didn't know what to do with.

Somehow, the vibrancy of all the color looks best without any at all. Sometimes, that's just how it goes.

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