She felt bad that day. Absolutely rotten. She sent me a message, telling me that he finally recognized the dead-end nature of the relationship, and fulfilled the inevitable prophecy. She got dumped.
It's during our moments of great depression that we find other things to occupy what seems like a void in the psyche. It's a panging sensation on the inside, this uncertainty as to how valuable we really think we are, and a struggle while coming to grips with the realization that the closer we feel to somebody, the more expendable we feel when we're tossed aside. I know the feeling. It's what got me into photography.
I knew exactly what would make her feel better. While on the road earlier, there was a tad bit of rainfall, but not so much as to drench the day. The clouds were still broken up, half of the heavenly dome ahead letting through broken beams of sunlight, and the other half the dark silhouettes of thick clouds. It was a pristine day. Perfect conditions. I told her to come with me on a photo shoot.
We arrived at 5 o'clock, slightly late, but still making good enough time to capture the sunset's afterglow over the perfectly flat Pacific. It was divine, an expanding marigold hue gracing the horizon's skin. The raspberry clouds seemed to sink into the ocean, their reflections glistening like spectral apparitions in the reflections. I chose the Palos Verdes bluffs, mostly because of familiarity (I wanted her to go to my favorite spot) and because it was relatively close to where she lived.
She brought her camera, too. She got a few photos of her own, and submitted them to this site as well. After the show was over, when the dozen or so onlookers left the bluff, I remained, watching the strawberry light gradually slip from the bottom edges of the clouds. There we sat, talking quietly about nothing. Not about her boyfriend. Not about her life. Not even about us. Just, nothing. How cool it was that we could see the light of planes taking off from LAX on the water. Pointing at the distant spot of tangerine light, a speck, that was the Santa Monica Pier. Observing the city lights illuminating the clouds that were passing over Los Angeles. Basically, nothing of any spectacular meaning.
So I then ask her. "What's on your mind?"
It took her a few seconds to utter a response. "Nothing, really."
Another minute of silence graced over us. Just the dull roar of waves crashing hundreds of feet below, a subtle ocean breeze gracing the tips of our ears, and the passing traffic lazily whirring by in the distance behind us. She then turned to me. "What are you thinking about?"
Photography. It's a wonderful thing. Strange how the acquisition of real images, of making our own interpretation of reality, can push our mind into setting aside our troubles and our probems. There is no ex boyfriend in the view finder, and essentially, that's all we think and care about at the time. So we forget, and where the inner void was, is now filled with another trademark California sunset.