Photography in NYC

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As I lifted my camera to my face at 11:13 A.M., they stopped kissing and then I knew I had to kill myself. Battery Park, New York City wasn’t forgiving today, the moment was too fleeting, I couldn’t capture it. Sighing deeply, and with a “dammit” on my lips, I reached for the knife in my bag and dug it real deep into my neck. It hurts, don’t get me wrong, but it’s short. I caught the glimpses of those next to me. Gotta make it quick before they do something. They rushed over as I collapsed, and I smiled at them. I could imagine they were thinking “What the hell?” It’s fun smiling at them for that brief instant, they don’t remember it.

I slipped backward into the void where existence is put out to pasture, my thudding heart exploded, and my screams bled all around me. The clocks rewound, over, blaow - bam, the brick wall of consciousness. With a gasp, I sat up in bed and caught my breath. I can’t get used to it, but it is what it is. I tossed myself over the edge of my bed and walked to the bathroom. My reflection’s hair was at war with itself, nothing was new today. The energy zap was brutal. I shuffled into the kitchen and cooked breakfast.

Today’s menu: Scrambled eggs and blacker-than-sin coffee. Compliments to the chef.

Black jeans, black button-down, slicked back black-hair pompadour.

10:17 A.M. I walked outside. Could never leave the house without my knife, a steely gray death. The weather was a gray, tuned to the shade of my knife, but that’s how I like it. The Big Apple awaited me, I knew the moment, I knew exactly where to wait. The leaves crunched like crackers as I made my way to the station.

10:25 A.M. Chipper lady sitting alone, I knew she’d smile before she did, knew she’d say “Good morning!” before she said it. Last time I shied away, this time I sat close and inhaled her perfume.
Small talk.
How are you?
I told her straight; I knew I’d never see her again.
Horrible. Every morning I know I’m going to die to fix my mistakes. My friend got shot once--died on the spot. I got drunk that night, went home, and when I woke up I knew I could have stopped it. But when I die I can only go back to the morning of; I had his life in my palm and I threw it away. That was years ago, but every day I think about it.
She knew she’d made a mistake asking.
I looked away and the train was quiet.

10:50 A.M. I got off without saying goodbye. As I made my way to Battery Park, I thought about that conversation. Why so morbid? Humanity weighed down on me, I had to get rid of it. I saw what happened every day, in the news. A shooting, a boy falling onto the subway tracks, my friend.
Slowly, the gray skies gave way to the sun. Shimmering gold and ruby ribbons unfurled against the dead sky. Eh, not that cool when you see it again.
The world needed Superman, I couldn’t be it.
I tried saving people. A shooting that day, I killed myself. Called the police and told them what would happen. Killed myself so I could shove that boy out of the way.
As I walked, I didn’t see the light change and a car skidded inches in front of me. Sheepishly, I shouted sorry and raised my hand, as if I could protect myself from the driver’s profanities.
But I couldn’t keep up. It was too much, too many people dying, blowing their brains out, others’ brains out. I cried when I couldn’t save them, so I said dammit and gave up. I wasn’t Superman.
I started running, time was running out, they were set to kiss soon.
I stopped reading the news, left my friends. Out of sight, out of mind. Selfish, selfish, what could I do!
Panting, I ran up to the spot where I killed myself and waited with a fist clenched around my knife.

11:10 A.M. I saw how it would pan out. They would walk hand-in-hand, beaming, absolutely brilliant and luminant and they would look at one another and then kiss for an instant. In front of the Statue of Liberty, this would be one for the ages.
I set the shutter speed, the aperture, it had to be perfect, this was my one shot. If I had to kill myself again, I would...well, not much I could do.
Sure enough, at 11:13 A.M., they came, and the video in my head played out.
They looked at one another for a moment pregnant with the possibilities of the world, the fate of humanity lay between their gaze.
I let go of my knife.
They came closer, closer, finally an embrace and the possibilities could not hold and then sparks, wonderful sparks burst forth, a silence came across the sky.
For a heartbeat, our hearts beat as one, and I took the picture.
For a heartbeat, it was all beautiful and nothing hurt.
For a heartbeat, I felt content with the world.
I couldn’t save the world from itself, but for a moment, I could.

About the Author: 
I'm a high school senior. I live in NJ and I love photography.