I've been searching through my photographs for images of San Francisco and environs. So many of my photos have been lost, so many misplaced.
Back in the day, I was a photographer in college, and Ace and I would make out in a darkroom at San Francisco State University, where we met and started the courtship that would become this marriage of 30 plus years. I was young and confident in my beauty back then, but the red light in the darkroom made me more beautiful, made him look like a dream, and the acrid smell of the chemicals made that dumpy room cramped with equipment seem dangerous and erotic. We hurried back to taste its pleasures week after week.
I used a Leica then, a camera so magical it cast a spell of admiration when I entered the newsroom of the Golden Gater with it slung over my shoulder. I miss the weight of that Leica in my hand, the feel of the lens between my fingers as I spun it back and forth, bringing the two images together in the viewfinder to focus the photo, seeing that my world was in sync.
Now that the world is digital, I take photo after photo on my iphone and never print them out. They cluster on my laptop, until my laptop dies and is replaced; or stack up on an online site, until it goes out of business, warning me politely to rescue my photos before it's too late; or they sit snugly on a firewire storage device, until technology passes me by once again, and the firewire input goes missing.
My photos are like confused salmon, swimming around in the ether, unsure of the way back home. Except for this one--a beauty. It found me, at last, gills glittering in the sun.
~A friend on Angel Island.