Never Knowing Quite What I Had (thing)
Return to Never Knowing Quite What I Had (thing)
I've begun to cling to the things I know. Memories and experiences that are a part of me. I remember my elementary school days. Spinning in circles and running around the neighborhood with my siblings and friends, collecting sea shells and magnificent findings on the beach just down the street from our house. The air was clean, with the smell of low tide, common to the cape. That was life. Soon after came junior high. I met Garrett with in the first month of 6th grade. How could I have known this meeting would change my life. Halfway through junior high, I spent a year in Southern Africa. Which was an unmatchable experience. The people I met, the friends I made, the family I was able to reconnect with. I saw my very first shooting star, one early and quite chilly morning before school. It was just before dusk and the sky was changing from deep blue to sapphire, the shooting star soared across the sky and I closed my eyes and made a wish.
Soon after my year in Southern Africa, my family moved back to the cape. It had become the only home I had grown to know. Life continued and quickly came high school. A high speed blur of field hockey, track, trips to nearby cities, vacations to the vineyard, hiking in the mountains, experimenting, discovering, capturing. I lived as the locals lived, and eventually I became apart of the puzzle that completed our town. I had my family, my art and my best friend Garrett. He became a constant in my life for many years. He always seemed to be there, watching, patient, attentive. I felt safe and secure knowing he was there. Garrett was there when field hockey went from thrilling to devastating and disappointing. He was there when I got second place in the 600 meter race my junior year of winter track. He was there dancing next to me with his date at our senior prom. We both lifted our heads at the exact same time and caught each other in the act. We were never quite that good at hiding who we were from each other because despite our best efforts we couldn't control what had happened to us, we couldn't hide what we had discovered. We were to young to understand just how lucky we were, to scared of knowing quite what we had.
I was there when Garrett got hurt quite badly while playing baseball freshman year of highschool. His eye blew up like a ballon, a swollen mix of purple and blue. I remember being scared for him, nervous that it might never heal. Seeing him like that made it feel like a splinter was widening in my heart. Garrett was there senior year when I had Advanced Placement Art Studio with a focus in photograhy at the exact same time he had Photography 1. We shared the dark room as students for a semester, the final semester of high school. Garrett was never very dedicated to anything specific besides his devotion to soccer, so those who didn't know him often underestimated him. What they didn't know was when put to the test he could knock people out of their seats with his ablities and charm. In our shared semester as dark room rats, I became so wrapped up in my own work I sadly never got a chance to stop and notice his. One vivid moment I will never forget was being in the darkroom developing final prints for my portfolio. Garrett was there watching people develop their prints, silent, curious, and I remember him moving closer to a print in the final stages of printing. His chesnut brown eyes grew big and the gold sparks that lite up his eyes mixed with the orange light of the dark room magically made his eyes appear as though they were glowing. In that moment I couldn't speak I just watched him. What was happening inside of me, it felt like a tornado of butterflies spinning in my stomach, a lock opening in the depths of my soul, as I watched him falling in love with my photographs, my greatest works of art.
He quickly figured out they were my photographs, I was to consumed by him to initially acknowledge that they were mine. After about a minute he looked up at me with those glowing eyes, and shyly smiled his lips moving slowy, "Is this one yours?"