Emily took the above photo, the only photo I am aware of taken of my during my pregnancy with Natan. I found it this morning while cleaning my car, among other objects which make it apparent I haven’t cleaned the car since well before his birth, like a pencil from a trip to IKEA over 18 months ago and a book I purchased for Josh right after he returned from abroad. I am just about 3.5 months along in the shot, and we hadn’t told anyone yet. I wondered then if Emily and her now-husband noticed how often I needed to use the restroom during that trip to the apple orchard – far more frequently than most people would choose to use a portable toilet, I’m sure. [Before we lament the lack of photographs, I don’t mind at all. The written record of this last one is more than abundant enough, and even though as an historian I am following trends and am now concerned with the visual, I’m not particularly concerned with amassing my personal visual archive.]
Among the objects from our old life, I was surprised to find tiny shards of glass in the car. In early April 2003, we had a freak snowstorm. I had an appointment, and parked my car on the street. After my appointment, as I was walking back to my car, I noticed that a bunch of the cars parked behind mine had their mirrors sheared off, a few had broken windows. The confusion and unease grew as I approached. My car looked especially strange – when I got close enough I could see that it was full of snow. The rear and side windows were shattered. When the police showed up, the officer said, “well only one thing could have done that.” A city snow plow had rammed a pile of snow into my car, after smashing it along the sides of the others. And then driven off. The city manager who came to handle the situation only made it worse by explaining, “well it was the driver’s first time in the new big plow” and “he didn’t realize he’d hit anything.”
My car has been vacuumed many many times since that event, both through professional detailing right afterwards and numerous times by me since. Over and over though, the glass comes back, like the infinitely refilling pot of spaghetti in that children’s song.
As for the photo itself, after being scanned in, it resembles a technicolor dream. The green leaves and blue sky a bit too bright and my hair is overly shiny in contrast to my skin and shirt that have been drained of their color. The scene is discordant – Josh seems especially pleased with his find, while I seem disgusted. Perhaps I’d spotted a bug in the apple.