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i like seeing things i'm not supposed to. this is not to say that you will look up one day and find me peering into your bathroom window, but it is to say that if you're showering next to me at the gym, i could later pick you out of a lineup, without ever seeing your face. i'm not sure why i'm like this but i know when it began.

i was in second grade and my after-school baby-sitter was getting dressed for the pool. i walked to the end of the long hallway and stood looking through the door she left ajar. her back was to me and she was putting her top on. she then paused and just stood there for a moment before turning her head, back still to me, and asked what i thought i was doing. i turned and walked back down the hall and sat on the couch waiting for her. when she came out she didn't address me immediately. after a few moments though she stood in front of me and said "you know people don't like little boys who look at them when they're not supposed to."

i can safely share this with you because it was not to become my norm, just youthful curiosity at the time. i don't know that her advice was what changed me but with time i instead became more interested in the mundane. a guy reading the paper in the park, some friends sharing stories over coffee in the corner of a small chess house or even a person singing to themselves in their car. these are the things i came to observe without the participant's knowledge.

this helps to explain my love for the above snapshot. it's hard to think of a composition more banal than one of someone else taking a picture. i'm pretty sure doctor J captured this image while we were holidayin' in italy. i just stumbled upon it while going through some old albums and it immediately became my favorite photo from the trip (sure, i'm in it, but i'd like it even if it was someone else's back). and this kudo represents no small clap on the back for dr J because i personally took over 1000 shots on that journey. fortunately for her, she's not a little boy and i'm not a fourteen year old baby-sitter.




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