i don’t know why i have this photo. what i mean is that i don’t know who took the photo and why they gave me a 5 x 7 print of it. it’s spring of 1971, i believe, i’m leaning against a retaining wall petting a st. bernard with k, while f. looks on. we are not as interested in the photographer as much as the boy is. is he the dog’s companion? (so 2013 “dog’s companion”–anachronism,the map through which i’m navigating.) it could be rapid city, but the tree-lined street is not a familiar one; 11th st. or 10th? possibly, but it’s equally possible that we’re in sioux falls, clear across the state for some other purpose…a field trip?
i suppose i could show the photo to f. or to m. (another m., not my m.) to see if they remember, but i will admit that knowing who took the photo and where it was taken means less to me than the mise-en-scène. such a time capsule with its aureole of light as if it might be fairyland or a heaven or even possibly a dream. had we been shopping? were we on our way to k.’s apartment in the only ‘high-rise’ apartment building in town? (luxurious and exotic as it was.) their hats!, and the little boy so curious about the photographer. where is he now? would he remember that we’d stopped to pet his dog one afternoon (it is afternoon, i’ve decided) along a tree-lined street somewhere in the western plains?