Friday, April 20, 2007

polaroids of pets and their owners

#1 A woman is lying on the pavement in front of a rusty promenade bench. Her knees are drawn up to her belly, trying to make her waterproof jacket into a kind of cut off sleeping bag. Her arms are curled to pillow her face, but you can't see it because of a tangled spread of black and grey curls . On the bench behind her, wedged between a khaki green shoulder bag and a stack of free magazines, a teddy bear. It is over-stuffed, made of caramel cloth worn down to the ticking at the hot spots. The arms and legs stick out gingerbread man style. It has a pink ribbon around its neck, with two little plastic bells. It has a flat face, no ears. Its nose is higher than its eyes.

#2 A woman is lying on a sofa, groaning. Her left hand is flat against the left side of her chest; her right hand lies over her left. She is breathing quickly, from the stomach. On the floor over by the open french windows is a large porcelain collie. It is sitting obediently, looking up, its head cocked slightly to the right. The glaze on the dog is so thick it blurs the colours beneath, like the photo of something taken in low light. There is a layer of dust over the thing, especially along the nose, but at the right ear there is a new, white chip.

#1 An elderly woman is lying on her back on a single bed. Her neck is arched back over the pillow, the crown of her head pressed against the padded headboard. Her eyes are wide, fixed at a point on the ceiling. Her mouth is gaping open, at an angle which acts to partially lever the bottom set of her false teeth up and out. Her right arm is hidden beneath the rucked blue pattern counterpane that the left hand has grasped and drawn up around her chest. On the second single bed that lies alongside this one is a large elderly Beagle. Its wide white forepaws are expertly draped over the edge, upon which the Beagle has patiently rested its head. Its ears hang down either side. It watches the woman.

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