The house is quiet. It’s only me today though sometimes I’m join by Bailey, the cat. I’ve nicknamed him “My First Born” because he was mine before I gave him over to my sister years ago. He sleeps most of the day and doesn’t seem to care, though sometimes he’ll come for a scratch on the neck and offers me a purr. Now that I’m in California, I’m staying with my older sister’s family. I share a small bedroom with my niece and because she’s seventeen sometimes her hormones allows her to be very happy and chatty and sometimes she’s sullen and melancholy. I hope she gets over this stage soon.
I share a bed with her. The mattress is uncomfortable and sagging. Each night we have to push it up against the wall and pray that it stays put. It never does but we pray for little things like that anyway. At night TJ’s absence is felt the most. I’ve learned to busy myself in the daytime so that by nightfall I’m sound asleep. But I miss his hugs. He gives the best hugs. I tried to hug my niece at night but she’s too skinny. Her bones offered me no comfort.
I’m a little nervous. Later on today I’m heading out to meet Brooke Shaden. I’ve been following her and love her conceptual work. I told myself that starting this year I would focus on my craft. I wasn’t going to care about what other photographers were doing, but rather I wanted to improve myself and push the limit in where I can take my images. When I first started out with photography, I started with film and the darkroom. The images that I made were more conceptual, a bit more eerie and stirred up uncomfortable feelings. It wasn’t always beautiful and more about the emotions. When I look at Brooke’s work, I like how it evokes raw human emotions. They are not always emotions that we are comfortable in showing but it is there. I feel pulled into her images. Sometimes I get a sense of walking into a nightmare, or a daydream, or a fantasy world. It’s a dream within a dream.