DAVE BECKERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG

Photographs of New York ’cause that’s where I live

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Trashy Memories

3 September, 2008 (21:54)

garbage-can-20011 Trashy Memories

Don’t you think there are textures that bring back memories on a subliminal level?  Something here about the paint and the industrial factory feeling, and the twine tied to the lid.  Also the light coming through the fine wire…  I just wonder if there is some sort of hyper-subliminal-link to an experience that I connect with this feeling.

The textured metal surface… again the steps motif… it does remind me of the steps that lead down to the basement, where the super fed coal to the furnace when I was a kid.  Man - something did happen - I can’t believe I just remembered it -

My sister and I - for some reason - disliked the super.  Maybe I was 10 and she was seven.  This was back in the Bronx.  We lived on the first floor, but if you looked out the kitchen window there was a courtyard below street level with a door to the supers apartment.

Why we did it - I don’t know.  But we did throw eggs out the window at night - and enjoy watching the super come out to discover them and clean them up.  Why we wanted to torture the guy, I just don’t know.  Kids do stupid things.  Just part of growing up.

I guess that while we were watching the super, my parents were keeping an eye on us to find out why the eggs were disappearing so quickly.  Maybe the super knew it was us and told my parents.  Well, whatever - one day we’re confronted, quickly confess, and are told that we’ll need to apologize to the super.

And that’s where this memory comes in - the steps that lead down into the courtyard - they had a textured metal grating - and my father dragged us down to meet the super in the furnace room - which had a primitive fairy-tale horror for us as the burly guy in the tee shirt shoveled coal into the furnace.

Being dragged through the street and down the steps was traumatic, but the story doesn’t have much of an ending.  I apologize to the scary guy, as does my sister, and he breaks into a broad grin - at least that’s how I remember it - and starts laughing at us.  He says something in a thick Italian accent to the effect that kids will be kids, and we both scoot out of there.  Back up those iron-clad stairs, past the metal garbage cans in front of the building, and to some kind of freedom.

I’m not going to get too Freudian — he’s out of favor anyway — but you do have to wonder sometimes why you take the same pictures over and over.  You don’t think you are - but you are.

You try to write new poetry, but you can’t ever get away from who you are, can you?  I don’t think so.  It’s those memories that give you whatever style you have.



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Comments

Comment from Frank
Time: September 6, 2008, 5:30 pm

Dave
I think you have something there. Great photo

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