And I walk with abandonment, want to walk it off. Needing to distract myself. I anaesthetise myself with my child. I feed her. I change her. I play with her. I comfort her in the night. This night is different. She’s not here. I can’t anaesthetise myself from life. I can’t distract myself. I think – mental pain suffuses me. I take pictures – this distracts me. And maybe it’s true of everyone. We distract ourselves not to feel.
Click. A row of green bin bags becomes an impromptu sculpture. Click. Amy in the middle of the road, poised, watching traffic, waiting to cross. Click. A headless man preparing berries in his basement kitchen. Click. A door that spells out the words ‘Eleven and a Half’. Walking. Walking.
The more I see, the less I feel.
Brick Lane. Excitement. Chatter. People distracting themselves. Cans. Sitting on the street. Party atmosphere. Wafts of spices. A man eating beckons us – ‘Curry, ladies?’ Girls in heels laughing. Then, the club. Vodka and coke. Dancing. Dancing. Feeling the bass resonating through my whole being. Alive. Nirvana. Sweat. Thoughts returning. Fuck off, I think. Just want to dance. I need to. It’s no good. At some point, I will have to feel this. Leaving. I will photograph the whole world to stop myself from feeling.
At the bus stop, an Argentinean lad drones on about ‘couch surfing’ and studying banking. It’s boring, but it’s a distraction. Amy and I sit at the top of the bus, watching London unravel. The city, an animal. More walking. Are we going the right way? Do you sell hot chocolate? No. Do you sell hot chocolate? Yes. Perfect. He even gives us a digestive. Laughing. Digs. Crying. Remembering the title to a Tracey Emin seen the previous day – ‘Sad Shower in New York.’ Sad Shower in Fitzroy St, London.
Eli Regan writes mainly on art and photography and has recently qualified as a NCTJ reporter. You can contact her via twitter @ereganreviews or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Eli Regan