Emma HardyPersonal (Date Unknown)

I want to talk about this photo over drinks into the wee hours– it’s really, really exceptional.

Trouble is, I’m having on of those every-idea-seems-inspired-until-I-put-it-to-words-and-everything-turns-straight-to-shit sort of days.

Also, part of the problem may be every time I look at this, I flashback to being 11 or 12 and chasing Hannah around the corner of my grandparents house in Vermont.

Hannah, is a year and a half my junior. I’ve always thought of her as a tomboy–able to easily outrun even my older athletic cousins. The only thing I can do better is scurrying up trees and she’s always grudgingly appreciated that fact.

I’m chasing her but I’m hyper aware of color: her white bare feet, green-green grass, light-weight lavender sundress fluttering around the flesh-tone blur of her pumping knees; a long wake of brown-blond hair trailing behind her.

I’m too far behind to catch her and as if she’s read my mind, she smiles over her shoulder mischievously.

She stretched her arms over her head, splaying her blue lacquered nails against the summery sky. Her step stutters; her body pitching forward.

Her body follows her arms. I notice her toes are painted the same color as her nails a second before I’m staring at her underwear–cornflower blue trimmed with cadmium yellow.

It’s not that I’m trying to look up her dress, there’s just nowhere else to look. I am suddenly painfully aroused.

Her dress slips as she nears the apex of her flip, turns inside out and falls down around her chest.

She floats there for a split second–it feels as if we are both floating outside time. There’s orange sun on pale skin, cornflower blue and cadmium yellow.

She pushes herself to keep momentum and is on her feet again, looking back at me–her cheeks reddening a little (as if her mom has already impressed upon her the importance of being lady-like and not showing boys her underwear).

But I can tell she’s only embarrassed because she is supposed to be ashamed and simply isn’t.

She waits until I am almost within reach before she bolts again. Glancing back only long enough to ensure I’m still following her.

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