Photography & Assault

stacy elaine dacheux . june 2012

“The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.” — Diane Arbus

At 21, in the darkroom, I dipped my fingers in the fixer to pull out a print.

“Don’t do that.” A classmate reprimanded. “Your hands are like sponges.”

At 28, outside The Good Luck Bar, I tried to remember my father’s hands. They were thick, dry and chalky– he bit his nails to the bone, sometimes they bled. I was drunk, and unlocking my bike from the stop sign.

A hipster kid with a camera took my picture. I told him not to do that. So, he took another one.

“Why are you doing this?” I wanted to know.

“Hey, why not?” He was flirting.

“I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do — that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.” — Diane Arbus

I shoved the camera into his stomach, pushing him out of my way. My father was dead and I was depressed. I wanted that night and that horrible feeling to be mine, only mine. He got caught stealing and I needed him to know that acting cutesy and suggestive about it all was not cool.


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