She gasped with every page turned, taking in each image with surprise, joy, fascination. Then, she stopped, on this portfolio page. “Beautiful,” she said. Her eyes followed the arching steel once, before she touched the photograph. She touched it, tracing the arc of it slowly, deliberately, as if she could feel the smooth metal beneath her fingers. It was the kind of caress you give someone you’re passionate for, someone you’ve wanted, someone you’re touching for the very first time.
I felt it, as if my own flesh were beneath her fingers. Her caress of the arc raised my hackles, and I drew a short, sharp breath as tingles rippled up my arm.
Some days later, she touched me that way. It wasn’t as good. She had touched me once already, through my photograph. That caress had seemed so much more intimate.
The Gateway Arch
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Taken during travels, 1997.