documentary.

I was thinking maybe we should get the video camera out tonight”.

The boy’s head shot round, ever so slightly cocked to one side like a dog at the word “dinner”. I instantly knew from the quizzically raised eyebrow and bemused expression that I hadn’t articulated myself well.

“For god’s sake, I don’t mean it like that”, I hastily retorted, my words tumbling out in an eyerollish way. “I just mean to document stuff. The house. Our lives right now. That sort of thing”.

The head turned back round again and settled back into the slumped body, facing the laptop.

I knew it was a good idea anyway. The boy’s indifference hadn’t come as a surprise, but it did mean a lone mission into the stuff drawer: that labyrinth of tangled cables; batteries; string; a drumstick; chargers for phones that we don’t even own anymore. You know the place.

The camera came out without much of a struggle: charged as well, which meant I could force the expanded sprawl of wires back down, slam the drawer shut, and weave my way down the stairs. Wasting no time on preparation, I filmed my fuchsia slippers as I stepped: tread by tread by tread.

I wanted to celebrate an ordinary evening. The boy at home; me at home; the cats spread out: two splats on the floor, each basking in the novelty of the heating beneath them. I shot the camera over to the boy and cooed a over-the-top “heyyy!” in his direction (as if I always talk like this). I got an awkward “hello” and an unimaginative wave in response.

I hadn’t been prepared – as my fuchsia feet made their entrance into Act I – ¬†for the fact that I might have nothing to say. Nothing to celebrate on this average Friday. I strolled around, silently, past kitchen utensils and other miscellaneous items. The cats stretched, yawned and squinted at each other as I roused them from their naps.

Straining for ambiance, I flicked on the radio. An advert for used cars blared out its jarring tune. My camera gaze rested upon an open bin as it continued its orbit. I swiftly switched back to a cat.

Seconds passed as I hovered. To be honest, they felt quite a bit longer.

“Are you still filming?“, the boy asked, bored. The pressure to do something celebratory mounted.

“Ermm…. nope. All done.” I sighed, having very prematurely run out of ideas.

The viewfinder flipped shut.

Documentary paused.

 

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