Snapshots can be stand-ins or triggers for memories.  But what about when there are no memories? Then they become historical documents. Forms of proof, of facts. An accessory for amnesia. Supporting a matter of faith  Telling a story of what happened, asking for your trust. They live on the periphery of history, supporting arguments, but due to their short temporal scope, never at the core of narrative. Nevertheless, the picture is part of the history as the moment is contained within the image is either a part of the history’s time frame, or at the very least, it is spatially related to the narrative.

On the right edge of the frame is a brochure about the conservation of resources gained by not changing the bed linens each night. Below is the comforter and bedspread extending indefinitely to the right side of the frame. Memorial Day.

Time passes. Someone boards a train, has a headache, throws a party. I grimace, clutch my chest and collapse. They got that promotion, feel betrayed, after thinking about it for a while, are hopeful, Or perhaps I am thrown through a windshield. Given the choice, she chooses France, skips the meeting, is kissed on the mouth. Or maybe I look distracted and slump over. He wonders why, after the movie goes shopping, not wanting to cause problems, remains silent. Or the machines that I am connected to are shut off and I stop breathing. You cross the street, someone you thought would always be there, you realize isn’t, you eat a sandwich. Time passes.

In the center of the picture is a chair. Below, on the bedspread, are three snapshots taken by my parents on a recent trip to Grand Junction. The first is a picture of where we lived when I was born. The second is a snapshot of where we lived before we moved to California. The third is a picture of St. Mary’s Hospital, where I was born. My Mom’s writing on the back of the snapshots label them thusly. Above are the pillows on the bed and cards and brochures thanking me for staying at the Hampton Inn.


Two years after, we moved to California. My father grew up there and my mom wanted to get out of Colorado, so we moved.


Memorial Day. Officially honoring those who lost their lives in the armed services, the day has loosely become a day in which one focuses on death.


In 2006, I visited Grand Junction the week of my birthday. I had been there one time since we moved, when I was 8 or so, but I had no memories of the place. I stayed in the Hampton Inn on Main Street. They host a continental breakfast in the morning and have a pool.  I went there because I had been thinking about history and wanted to experience it in a personal way.

I kept thinking “I was born here, this is my birthplace”. I couldn’t really give it any resonance. I was in a very pleasant town in the desert. I passed the time just wandering, around downtown, going to the mall, driving around neighborhoods, watching TV, looking at the surrounding mountains, reading about the area in the guide in my motel room. I couldn’t get a sense of that part of my history, the starting point. That it happened here, although I intellectually know it. The left side of the frame. I was a visitor, one without memories. Passing time.

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