We called it "Art Safari." Hopping into a car, my sister and I would drive around in search of things that sparked our imaginations and try to capture the oddness on camera.
At 24 or 36 exposures at a time, each photo required some forethought. There were many –– like this ––– that didn't quite achieve my goal.
Still. It's sufficient for prompting a few words.
Every Tuesday, Gram drove the Gran Torino to to the hairdresser. Those days, Harold took the long way home, circling each block twice and dragging his heels.
The little house was strange without Gram's sturdy, bustling presence. Without her hoarse voice telling him about her day and asking about his he felt lost among the furniture. He didn't want to explain it her, but he hated going into the house during that gappy chunk of time on Tuesdays.
But then Gram would return, the familiar squeak of the suspension as the car rumbled into the carport. Often she'd bring home a treat, a VCR rental or fragrant take-out packages from the Italian place, and Tuesday would become the best night of the week.
Blank faces staring skyward.
Reflections skim the glass.
Full-grown dolls and no one loves them.
Ad Astra per Aster, that's what she thought of that particular model. Not Atticus Finch's "from the mud to the stars" and not Kansas' "through difficulty to the stars," but "to the stars, by Aster."
The spun silver hairdo was as glamorous as a movie star's, she thought, and the way those silvery eyes were always gazing into the distant heights ––! It was her favorite of the mannequin heads and her favorite wig. She could stand by the plate glass window all morning just enjoying the vision.
But someone was always coming by and telling her to leave. "Move it along, chubs!" the policeman told her. As if she was hurting anything. As if she didn't have feelings. She wasn't just a thing, after all. She was human, even if she didn't look like those dainty creatures with their perfect hair.