Drabble 119 – Kalopsia


I took photography classes in high school, and it was easily one of my favorite subjects. In part, that was because photograph class meant checking out a camera and wandering around school for an hour, but it was also a way for me to see things differently. I’ve never been a particularly good visual artist, so photography was a way for me to capture something and show it to others exactly as I saw it.

Interestingly, the only photo I ever felt comfortable submitting to a contest was one of a green oxygen tank. I looked at it, and it seemed like the kind of image you might see at a photo contest, so that was the one I chose, not any of the ones that I actually liked. Just a green canister with a canted frame, the contrast boosted in Photoshop to make it look extra grimy. I didn’t know what the meaning was, only that it looked like it might have meaning.

I didn’t win. It wasn’t a good photo, to be honest. I don’t know that I would have won even if it was a good photo absolutely packed with deep symbolism and artistry; photography was (and still is) a hobby, not something I pursue particularly seriously. But when I think back to all the photos I took in high school, that one sticks with me as something that was meant to represent me, but has nothing at all to do with me.

Anyway, here’s a drabble. And if you like what I’m doing, consider picking up my first zine, a collection of drabbles I put together and quite like. You can pay whatever you like for it, even nothing.


(n.) from Ancient Greek καλοψία, for beautiful, + Ancient Greek ὄψις , for view

A delusion of things being more beautiful than reality.

Amy takes photos of garbage. People praise her for it, saying she sees things nobody else does, that she’s exposing some kind of latent beauty only her camera lens can capture. Amy thinks that’s bullshit; if they can’t see the beauty until it’s captured on film, that’s their problem.

There is something lovely in the way the sun shines through a busted Stella Artois bottle, or the way that maggots seem to burst forth from any meal left to rot in the sun for too long. Disgusting, certainly, but beautiful too, like the pungent, surprising flavors of durian or roquefort.

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