A Photographer, a Jock, and a Snowman

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She loved the winter. How it looked, anyway. It was perfect for photography, with the stark white of the snow against the black shadows. No colors to muddy it up. Black and white; she saw everything in black and white. Clean, no blurred edges. Gray was pointless; why have a mix when it looked like confusion? That’s what she thought. When people talk about the “gray areas”, they always mean confusion.

She steadied the camera again, trying to hold it still with frozen hands. She willed her finger to depress the shutter release, and though she could not feel her finger obey, she knew it had by the soft click that died away at once in the deserted football field, blanketed in knee high snow. She looked around at the bleachers she was standing on, very slippery. “Treacherous”, that’s what the administrators would say if they knew she was out here; “risky”. Not for her own personal safety, of course, but because if she got hurt and decided to sue, they would have to cough up a lot of dough, which would probably affect the budget of the sports programs, which would affect the athletes performances, and another bunch of Neanderthals would miss out on a sports scholarship for a college education that they were all too stupid to appreciate anyway.

She laughed derisively into the freezing air, then quickly stopped and looked around; sitting alone on bleachers three hours after school while laughing at a joke nobody even heard was not something that she wanted to get around school. But why should she care? It’s not like anyone in that hellish school even mattered, anyway. She laughed again, defiantly, then quickly packed up her camera and left, immediately.

Just before rounding the corner to the parking lot, she heard raucous laughter, and realized too late that she had stayed too long; the school’s sports teams were leaving practice. She didn’t like jocks on principle; they were loud, rude, stupid, and obnoxious. What else could be expected from people who focus all their energy on a ridiculous little ball? It didn’t help that they regarded her as some sort of alien, but that was beside the point. Peeking around the frozen bricks, she saw that none of them were lingering, thank God – it was too cold for them to stick around and disrupt the peaceful snow. They all jumped into their cars and motored out of the parking lot – too fast, she noted in distaste.

She walked around the building, and then yanked herself back against the bricks; someone was still there. She snuck a look at him; he was staring at a snowman some stupid kid had made alongside the parking lot. She pulled out her camera; a photo of a jock defacing an innocent snowman would be a great addition to the school paper. As she focused the lens, he did not kick or punch the snowman, but knelt to the ground. She inched forward, curious. He took out a bottle, half full of crimson sports drink, and poured it onto the snow on the ground. The color was beautiful; it was the first time ever she wished she had color film rather than just black and white. Careful as a skilled sculptor, he crafted a shape out of the red snow and pressed it to the snowman. She waited until he drove off, and then walked over and looked at his creation – yes, it was his creation – for what felt like an age. Silently, she took a picture, got into her car, and drove off.

In the middle of the snowman’s chest was a red, electrolyte-infused heart.





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