Saturday, May 10, 2008

indulge the monkey

i've often advocated here paying attention to what's going on around you. today, that philosophy thrust me into what seems to be the aftermath of a crime. (short dramatic interlude)

from the window of the classroom where i've spent everyday for the past 10 weeks, i can see the roof of the building next door. about two weeks ago, as i fought boredom and brain atrophy by gazing at the mountain community just beyond the glass, i noticed a blue duffel bag on the roof that was not there the week before. for nearly two weeks that bag taunted me from afar and practically dared me to climb up there and find out what was inside. was it money? garbage? severed heads? a litter of kittens? call it training, instinct, or some strange kind of intuition, but the beckoning somehow conveyed to me that the bag had more of a story than just a forgotten bag or jettisoned trash.

just after lunch on friday, the call became too loud for me to ignore. on a break from my studies, i indulged the monkey inside of me and shinnied up a set of gas pipes attached to the building's exterior and climbed onto the roof to finally examine that mysterious bag. while i'd love to be able to say that is WAS actually filled with severed heads or gold bullion or priceless artifacts, what i DID find may be worth more in story-telling potential. the blue bag is actually an aerobed and proved unremarkable on it's own. the real discovery was the photo album that was laying a few feet away from the aerobed.

the cover to the album was gone and, based on the recent weather trends and the condition of the album's pages and pictures, i'd estimate that it'd been up there for about two weeks. some of the pictures are curled from moisture exposure and some of the ball point ink inscriptions on the bottom margins of some of the photos are smudged but most of them are still salvageable. nearly all of the pictures are black and white and are mounted on thick black construction paper pages. looking through the pictures, it isn't hard to see that this album is clearly very special to someone and i strongly believe it was taken from them during some sort of burglary and tossed onto the roof by the criminal(s). the photos are well-shot perspectives of places and times and it's eerie and strangely fascinating to try to imagine oneself looking through the viewfinder when the shutter snapped on the original scene in the picture.

here's an awesome picture taken of The Needles in South Dakota back in 1940...
a buffalo sunset....and a couple others pictures that i thought conveyed the personal, journal-like qualities of the album.

oh....and my personal favorite....the unfinished Mt. Rushmore!

i'm undertaking a full-scale effort to get this album and these great pictures back to their owner. though even a sleuth of my unparalleled investigatory prowess may not be able to solve whatever event may or may not have brought these items into my hands, returning them to whoever lost them may assuage the sense of loss and victimization they're likely feeling. i welcome any and all ideas about how best to find the owner and i'll surely keep you posted on the progress.

until then, keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to indulge the monkey when you must :-)


1 comment:

T said...

Wow--those pictures are stunning! Good man yourself for climbing up to investigate!