Neon Gloves on the Sidewalk

I stole his soul?Barthes argues that “in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes” (Barthes, 53). When I close my eyes, the punctum for me is his orange vest; its casual brightness asserts its presence. Barthes quotes Kafka’s reflection on the respectability of sight in relation to photographs. Kafka stated, “We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes” (Barthes, 53). Perhaps, this explains my own subconscious motive behind taking this photograph. This photograph represents a “miniature of reality,” something true for a construction worker on the side of a traffic inflicted street keeping his eyes from the bright sun. His sun glasses, his helmet, and the presence of time’s relentless melt” in the creasing of his pants all “lay claim to another reality,” which is the existence of a photograph capturing a moment that no longer exists, a moment that has been stolen from this unidentifiable man, and an identity he will never know.

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