Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Three stories: Hermes vs. my photography career

In the dark days, during my divorce, feeling more bad for longer than ever before, I decided to try and send a few photos to a visual contest. I chose six of the most suitable ones, pasted them neatly to posh carton, made a good envelope and went to the post office with money I borrowed from family. There I learned - even though the address was of a local PO Box and for all intents and purposes I could touch the damn thing - I learned then that all mail has to travel to a distribution center and then comes back over night. I found this to be ridiculous, so I asked the man behind the counter to simply stamp it and push it into the PO Box two meters to the left. 
                Time went by and no word from the committee - not only I did not win but they didn't even send me a catalogue, meaning I didn't even come up to the best 400. Finally seeing the exhibition, I got so incredibly sad, so fiercely disappointed (just seeing the sort of shots that won was bad enough to literally want to make me kill myself, as I needed little encouragement on the subject at the time.), my mum and dad said they knew I didn't qualify months ago, but didn't want to tell me. All of that mess falling onto me, I survived only by luck of the draw. And then some more luck. 
               March came and I hadn't touched my camera in the while. I did, however, begin to feel the benevolent lure of a spring season and around then a postman rode his moped pass where I was sitting. He seemed so cheerful and having a good time, delivering bills and newspapers and picturesque spam... It suddenly felt like something one, whose brain is switched off for self-preservation reasons, might try to do for a little while. I walked into the main post office and asked if I can do that and - obviously someone upstairs thinking it's a good idea - I was hired faster than most people in history. It took me less than a week to do all the medical exams, read Going Postal and decide how fiercely to bullshit about my moped skills. (It was a blunt prerogative, yet I've never even seen one up close before.) Needless to repeat that the first person I met, being given my moped and asked to drive it right then and there, was the General (so large and so good looking in that business suit I temporarily forgot I was supposed to feel all alone in the world.)
              For half a year I felt incredibly good most of the time: I was a mail maid and as silly and basic as it was, my existence was getting stabilized. I began seeing a guy that turned out to be pretty amazing, I started photographing again, I started getting emotional about things that had nothing to do with history. More importantly, however, Hermes - patron God of my hitchhiking - let me in on a little secret: about that portfolio nobody cared about?... It came back to me, some day, with a short note saying: "Hello, this envelope was mistakenly put into my PO Box some time ago.." 
              That guy, trying to do me a favor, put into the PO Box beneath the one that was for the competition.