Dipping into Euclid’s Photogallery: Photos from our Photographers

February 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

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  • Euclid’s Negatives:
  • a journal of collaborative story-telling, combining photography and short fiction. point your face at it and you’ll see. submissions are currently open. enjoy.

 

Featured Collaboration: A Red Tree

February 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

A Red Tree

Photographs by Adrienne Pike Adelphia

Story by Eric M. Martin

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You asked me in late summer.

The last firefly was long gone. I think it was a week after we had a little party where we used the left over sparklers. We weren’t doing anything again until the holidays, I mean, we had no plans. No more camping. No more barbeques. The sparklers were the last fizz on the summer champagne or whatever.

IMG_0394You had asked me before, but I didn’t want to. I don’t know why, but the idea of going fishing just didn’t appeal to me. It still doesn’t appeal to me.

Why would I want to sit in a boat for hours and put nasty worms onto hooks just to catch something I’m going to throw back? I just don’t get it.

“We don’t have to use a boat,” you said. “We can fish from the promenade.”

“The what?”

“There’s a little, like, micro-dock behind every cabin. We can take the dog and you and me can go sit on the promenade and do some relaxing fishing.”

“Don’t call her the dog” I said. “When did you want to go?”

“Soon. It’ll be too cold before too long. I think we should make a reservation for one of these cabins and go in a few weeks.”

Then you showed me pictures of the place on their website. With such an empty autumn staring us in the face I thought we might as well.

*

When we got there, the cabin was not at all what it looked like in the pictures. It looked like something out of “The Three Little Pigs”, one of the houses that couldn’t stand up to the wolf.

When I said that and said, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and…,” you started to get angry. The skin around your eyes gets red when you’re mad, like you’ve just been crying. It makes your brown eyes look black.

I made up my mind for the thousandth time that this was not how things were going to be for me.

Then we went in. Inside the place was actually nice. Everything was clean. It was a whole different cabin on the inside.

“I told you,” you said.

“Yep,” I said, “You did.”

A bag of nuts and dried fruit was wrapped up nicely in clear plastic with a corny, festive bow on top sitting on the coffee table in front of the new-looking couch.

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You went straight through to the kitchen and the back door and went straight out onto the patio. I followed you and you pointed to the micro-dock or whatever you called it. The lake was still and clean-looking too, about the size of a football field or two.

A small dock went from the patio where we were standing into the beginning of the lake.

“See? We don’t even need a boat.”

The little dock had a row of quaint little seats on it that made me want to drink all day. The idea was just one of those flashes you get – you know the kind I got. Sometimes I still get those flashes; that’s why I went back to the cabin this summer when I was passing through the area. That’s why I’m writing you now.

“Let’s unpack,” I said.

And you agreed.

It didn’t take long. As the sun started to set we took our drinks onto the little dock and sat looking out at the water.

That was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I have to thank you for that.

You volunteered to go get us new drinks from the cabin and I waited for you. You came back singing the one line you knew from that song your dad used to sing. “There is a house in New Orleans…” You used to sing that one line over and over as a joke. You told me your dad used to sing it around the house in a fake, basso voice and I smiled every time you sang it.

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Until that day. I watched you coming down the steps of the patio to the little dock looking worried and singing that song and I remembered you didn’t like your dad. You blamed him for making you choose between him and your mom when they split and she moved to Wisconsin.

That’s why you sang the song, as a kind of revenge. To make fun of him. And I laughed with you. But later you didn’t sing it because of him at all. You sang that one line for yourself, as a kind of refrain,a mantra, which I didn’t mind. Not exactly.

Here’s the thing. This is what I wanted to tell you. When you came out singing that song looking worried, I thought again that this was not how it was going to be for me.

You must have known I’d say no.

It was over before you asked. I know you think it was because of the song. At the time I couldn’t explain that it wasn’t the song, but you wanted that to be it, because then it wouldn’t be your fault. It would be your dad’s fault, again.

It wasn’t the song and it wasn’t your dad. It was the worry that you put into that one line, “There is a house in New Orleans.”

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The lake was calm and a breeze was blowing into my face when I looked away, over the water. One tree on the edge of the lake had brownish red leaves already. All the other trees were green and vibrant. There was something in this moment that I wanted to keep, something I didn’t want to end.

“Haley?” you said. “I want to ask you something.”

You put our drinks down on the planks of the dock and you got down on one knee.

“Haley, will you marry me?”

I hesitated and looked into your eyes and kept myself from turning to look at the red tree. I didn’t want to say no, because you’d probably lose it, get angry, and we still had two days at the cabin. Those two days flashed full of nightmare in my mind and the thought came back to me: This is not how it is going to be for me.

“No, Tommy. I don’t think I can.”

Featured Story: A Lie Seen Through a Telescope

February 1, 2014 § 1 Comment

Story by Brian K. Jones

Photography by Adam Chapman

ALieSeenThroughATelescope (1 of 1)

Why the fuck am I here?  Why do I these things?

At times in my life I have seemingly sought despair out of boredom.  There’s something mundane about happiness, when I find myself happy invariably I find myself segregated from reality; in a bubble of phony smiles and contemporary wall paper that makes me feel like I can’t feel anything.

An interruption to my self-loathing and lament of life made her way to my table dressed in a teal bikini bottom with her perky breasts exposed.  She sat with a thud, I was instantly over whelmed and aroused by her thick coating of perfume.

“Hi sweetheart.” My mind could barely compute her words as it was mostly engaged by my visual reception of her walnut colored hair.  Her lips had a pout that I could only imagine reveled in whispers and long slow kisses but only if you had the proper denomination of currency.

I thought long and hard about what to say to her while also trying to maintain an heir of tranquility, all I could muster was a meek “Hey.”

“What’s your name?” She picked up my gin and tonic and sipped from the straw while crossing her legs.  Blood rushed to my loins.

I gave my standard alias for when I was in such a place, “Zack.”

We sat in silence for a moment and I noticed a beauty mark on her forehead.  I imagined another life; one in which I woke up in the morning and looked at her slight imperfection and longed to kiss it but didn’t out of concern that I might wake the slumbering beauty.

I stared at the dancer on the stage, gyrating her hips to some shitty metal song and I wondered again to myself, “Why the fuck am I here?”

“So what brings you here? You don’t look like a regular.” Her eyes shifted to a portly man in his fifties sipping on a domestic pilsner with a wide smile on his face.

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“I’m…confused.” I looked off the old pervert and stared down at my hands which were slightly shaking.

She took another suck at my drink which was apparently now hers’ “Confused about what?”

I took another long look at the dancer on the stage and wondered about her family while she pulled her thong aside to show her everything to everyone. “Life, I guess.”

She scooted her chair closer to me and whispered softly in my ear, “I think you’re supposed to forget about that shit here.” She ran her fingers up and down my thigh as she spoke and I stopped her just short of reaching it’s destination.

“Yeah well, like you said. I’m not a regular.  I never caught your name.”

She giggled and sat back in her chair, again with the consumption of my drink. “Star.”

I pulled the drink from her mouth and took a long swig, “Sounds phony.”

“Does it Zack!?!?  You’re quite the detective!”  She let out a boisterous laugh.

I thought to myself “you’re quite the whore” but quickly remembered that I had chosen to come here.  It wasn’t Star’s fault that I hated life, it was my own and it certainly wasn’t her fault that I had a genuine distrust for anyone with two legs that wasn’t a child or retarded.

She ran her hands through her hair and played with it for a bit, a nod to her being self-aware of her power of men .  “So you want a private dance?”

Of course I did, but I resented that she knew she was attractive. Her coy hubris lit a fire in the stove of my resentment for all things human and I brushed her off.  “Maybe later.”

She blew a kiss at me and got up and walked toward the old pervert and sat at his table.  I watched her ass as she left and felt my stomach pang in hunger.  I’d have her all day if I could but certainly not under these transactional circumstances.  I thought briefly of saving her and building a two story house surrounded by a picket fence built with my bare hands so that she could leave this shitty place.  I imagined her reading shitty romance novels and making meat loaf while I was off at work.  Then, I remembered that I was no god-damned carpenter and that I’d grow to resent her in a hot minute, so I just looked at her as she started up the sales pitch with the horny old bastard.  She saw me looking at her and winked, I looked down and sighed.

I gulped down the last of my gin and tonic and walked outside to have a smoke.  The fat bouncer gave me a dirty look as I walked past him.  I lit my smoke and breathed in the cancer fumes, the filthy exhale proof that I was still breathing.

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I looked around at the shit bags smoking and realized quickly that I didn’t belong here or at least that I didn’t want to.

“Who the fuck am I?  What do I want?” The thoughts recirculated through my mind over and over again.  Not this.  I pulled at my smoke and walked toward my car resigned to the fact that I would return to my hotel room and fall asleep while dreaming of Star and wondering what it would feel like to love and be loved, to be accepted by someone completely.  Fleetingly, I would imagine that life was OK.

I lumbered into my car and started north towards the Holiday Inn. I passed through some seedy neighborhoods and dreamed of release as I saw the drug dealers and the hookers on the corners plying their trade.  The commerce of misery was, still is, and always shall be strong.  I pulled over without thought to the corner where a drug dealer was standing.  He hopped in the passenger seat without invitation.

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“What the fuck you doing here honkey?” He pulled a tooth pick from his mouth.

Fear penetrated through the mountain of depression that had formed atop my psychological person and it began to hit me true and sincere. “What the fuck am I doing here?” I thought.

“I’m not really sure.”

My new passenger looked around at the streets and pulled up his shirt to show a pistol kept beneath his waistline before returning his glassy red eyes to my face.  “You see all this mother fucker? You see the liquor store? You see the ho just down the road, the junkie in that alley, the pushers on the end of the block, the street lights that hover above us?  Do you see that shit honkey?”

I watched, looked upon the things that he pointed out, “Yes I do.”

He paused and stared at me, “Good.  This my fuckin’ hood honkey, and you know what?  All of them mother fuckers belong here.  They live here, I watch they asses every day.  I know they cousins and they moms.  I don’t fuck wit em’ lest they need to be fucked with.  That’s respect for my own.  I respect the mothafuckas that belong here.”  He paused, “Do you know what don’t belong here?”

I sat paralyzed, I wasn’t sure what the nature of my need was.  I didn’t even know why I stopped aside from the fact that it seemed instinctively wrong and so I wanted very much to do it.  In truth, I didn’t even like drugs.  “Me.”

Toothpick back in his mouth my new friend smiled wryly and revealed the top of his teeth covered in gold.  “You know what?  You a smart fuckin’ honkey, yo know that?  I know what you’re lookin’ for but you aint gonna find it here, you aint gonna find shit down here man.” He smiled and looked at me, pulling his shirt up again and putting his hand on the pistol.  “You only gonna find that you just don belong.”

I pulled out my wallet and took out all of the cash I had.  I handed it to him and he looked at me and smiled again.  He opened the door and started to get out.  “You stay safe my man, this aint no place for you.”  With that he got out and slammed the door shut.  Walking with a swagger he looked back at me and tipped his ballcap, I let out a sigh and started up the engine.

I pulled out in the street and kept north.  My hands finally stopped shaking as I pulled into the parking lot of the Hotel.

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Entering the hotel room I flipped the TV on and turned off all the lights before collapsing on the bed.  I laid above the covers with my clothes and shoes still on; flipping through 63 channels of nothing for about a half an hour while I tried to process the evening.  Finally I turned on my side and thought of Star and a house with a picket fence.  As I began to drift off I could hear the rain gently pelting the window of my hotel room while the wind whipped at the trees.

Featured Story: Smiling with the Lights Out

January 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Smiling With the Lights Out

Story by Brian K. Jones

Photography by Adam Chapman

It started 21 days before the Mayan prophesied end of the world.  I wasn’t too concerned about that, it struck me that the end of the world was unlikely to be forewarned; more likely that it would come unheralded.  The breadth of everything you once knew obliterated into a scream of abstract nothingness in a quick spasm as you sat to take a restful shit or stepped in to kiss your wife after a long day of work.  Yet still, civilization’s death loomed inevitability like the long shadow of work on an early Tuesday morn.

The radio DJ prattled on about the weather, his fake charm nestled in every phonetic uttering.   Deliverance of the streaming rot into the hollow shell of my skull; I braced for a turn felt a booger in my right nostril and picked at it lightly.  Driving to work on slow country roads was like a long slow dance with a slovenly captor.  One who was so confident in your captivity that he allowed you to stray just far enough that you might pretend you enjoyed the spoils of freedom.  In many ways it was worse than true cell block captivity.

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Arriving at work felt a little like being the last greasy potato chip being stuffed in a bag by some well lubricated automaton.  Just in time to be the last of many uniformed consumable items sealed shut in a foiled receptacle that would last ions longer than that which it carried.  Swiping a key card into a kronos machine I looked into the maze of cubicles and quickly realized all of the bathrooms had been wrecked by the morning shit brigade.  Every cuckolded, sit-down pissing, domesticated man monster had been hit by the attack of the brown army and the deliverance of mine would be carried out in the precarious and anxiety ridden hover position.

I sighed and walked to the cafeteria where I procured hot water for some tea.  I dropped a bag of earl grey in and focused on the cloud of brown seeping through the pristine and clear water; slowly snuffing out the opaque tranquility with its suffocating essence.  I tried to think of a relevant metaphor to the mutable nature of existence but was interrupted by my boss Mr. Anderson.

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“Tea again Smith?  God you’re a faggot.”  He transitioned from a relaxed posture into a dominant pose so that he could exert his authority over me.  “Listen, have you finished the Quarterly analysis and the T-3000 reports yet?  I need those on my desk by noon.”

I sipped from my now fully brown tea and thought about kicking Mr. Anderson in the balls and kneeing him in the nose before urinating on his face while he groaned and pleaded for me to stop.  “Uh sure Mr. Anderson, they’ll be on your desk.”

“Good, go kick that pig in the asshole Smith.  Time waits for no man, not even me.”

I sat down in my cubicle and stared at pictures of my ex wife and my daughter for a few minutes and thought about if what Anderson had said even made any sense.  Time probably did wait for him, the insufferable prick.

My fellow coworker and slack happy friend Johnny poked his head in my office and threw a sandwich bag full of Percocets that hit me in the head.  “This week’s supply shit clown.” He smiled and winked at me and moved on his way.

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I popped a pill and sucked down some more tea.  I fired up the quarterly analysis reports and started mowing down T-3000 reports with fervor reminiscent of Patton’s army in North Africa.  By 10:30 I had all of my shit done and set down on Anderson’s desk.  He gave me the dreaded pat on the back and we bullshitted about things I didn’t care about for a good quarter of an hour.  Nothing like a little bit of numbness to promote the vile tendencies it requires to succeed in a corporate hierarchy.

I went outside to smoke and watched as a thunderstorm rolled in from the west; a sullen gray turned my shadow into a slowly dissipating outline.  By the time I flicked my cigarette into the parking lot,  rain had begun to drop in random singularities around me.  I opened the door and a drop hit me on the nose.

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Consecutive series of right angles and the white hot hue of fluorescence brought upon an anxiety filled panic.  The ring of phones, clickety clack of typing fingers, and combined murmurs of a hundred simultaneous conversations about logistics, business strategy, and streamlined filing systems roared like an organized hurricane.  I decided that my work there was done for the day.

Driving the rolling hills from the office to the nearest chain restaurant, I thought more about the end of the world and popped another Percocet.  6,000 years of civilization up in a flash and all I’ll have to show for it was a meandering confusion about why I existed at all.  Surely there must have been a point to all of this; perhaps not, most likely that order and consequence were figments of our collective imaginations.

Some segment of me wanted it to end, a part of me would smile as the grotesque circus finally collapsed in on itself as humanity spun in a sad rain dance praying that theoretical internationalist gods would save us from ourselves; it was that thought that made me certain that the apocalypse was far from nigh.  It’d be when we had achieved a true utopia that we could only be received into the bliss of extinction.

I sat down at the bar of an Applebees and looked over the shit beer selection on tap.

“What’ll you have hon?”  The cold disdainful opening salvo of a seasoned bartender.

“I’ll take a Sam Adams.”

She looked at me somewhat suspect, “You know they’re 4 bucks a pint?  Miller lite is 2.”

“Nothing’s too good for me,” I said with a smile.

She rolled her eyes and grabbed a glass and began pouring from the handle.  I sat with anticipation as I stared at the mid day news.  War, death, and a sprinkle of humanity;  even muted the sound of the choreographed sales pitch of ratings driven sensationalism disguised as news seeped through the room playing off of our learned mores and arbitrary values.

I sipped at my pint and struggled with the sound of my mind.  A young girl sat at the bar next to me.  Her eyes were a bright bluish green that made her brown hair sparkle.  I tried to hide my enthusiasm for her by staring at the TV but I couldn’t help but share a few nervous glances with her.  She caught me in an awkward stare as she sipped from a Coors light.

Smiling as she swallowed down the drink; I interrupted and she coughed but quickly regained her composure, “Hi, I’m Anna.”

I stared into the almost coral green of her eyes, slowly muttering the word, “Hi” in an almost surprised fashion.

She giggled again rolled her eyes and turned towards me, “Why hello sir.  How are you?”

I was taken aback but tried to keep cool. “I’m good, I mean miserable but good I guess.”

She giggled again, “What’s your name?”

“I’m Paul…Smith.  You?”  I looked down at my beer as to avoid eye contact with her captivating eyes, hoping that I could forget the beauty and hopeful light that I suddenly seemed to be basking in.

Her hand extended for a shake and I obliged, “Anna Wells, A pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

For the next three hours we talked about life and the dimmed obfuscated lens that I view the world through seemed to crystallize and clear even if only for that moment in time.  Somehow the warring factions of anxiety in my brain; one frightened by the end of the world and one paralyzed by the notion of it continuing, laid down their arms and embraced a tenuous peace accord.  Bayonets no longer drawn on the opposition or trained on themselves, they gazed solemnly at one another, blankly.

I put my hand on Anna’s and she received it warmly, I rested my head on her shoulder and watched some muted pundit on the TV spew vitriol about a subject he had formed an opinion about in the last 15 minutes.  Anna’s hair smelled of lavender and cigarette smoke; I closed my eyes and everything went away save for that of Anna’s sturdy shoulder and the smell of her hair.

Anna pulled her shoulder out from under me, “Hey, are you ok?”

I looked up slowly, “No. I’m definitely not.”

She smiled again, “Do you want to talk about it?”

I thought about that for a second, “No.  I’d just like to forget.”

It’s like narrative photo gallery. It’s like a story sample pack.

October 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

ALieSeenThroughATelescope (1 of 1)Euclid’s Negatives has fiction.

Euclid’s Negatives has photos.

Euclid’s Negatives has fiction and photos that tell the same story. But, naturally, no story is the same when two people tell it instead of one. That’s part of why we do it. To see how stories change when they are told, not through words alone, not through pictures alone, but through words-and-pictures.

It’s like fiction with dipping sauce.

It’s like a photography book that talks to you (and lies) (and tells the truth)(and doesn’t ever say which is which).

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Check out the fiction. Check out the photos. Check out the home sites of all our participating artists.

Here are a few to get you started:

New Story: Category 3

July 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

story by eric m. martin –  photography by kevin coffey

I used to believe in the pleasure principle. I’m not so sure anymore.

I can’t say why I do this anymore. I mean, I get paid, but the novelty wore off a long time ago. Now it’s like reading a book I’ve read dozens of times. Like a choose your own adventure that’s been read cover to cover. No more twists and turns. No more surprises.

I show up at the bar when the people who came to get drunk are leaving and the people who want to get laid are coming in. At first I couldn’t tell the difference. They all just look so hungry, for something. I realized after a while what the difference is. The difference fear. I don’t want to get into it, but that’s how it is.

I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s not fun. It’s a job. Jobs aren’t supposed to be fun. In Vegas this is one of the easier jobs. Show up at Bar X looking good, but not too good, and have a good time for three hours on the company dime.

 

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New Story: Smiling With the Lights Out

June 18, 2013 § 1 Comment

Smiling With the Lights Out

Story by Brian K. Jones

Photography by Adam Chapman

It started 21 days before the Mayan prophesied end of the world.  I wasn’t too concerned about that, it struck me that the end of the world was unlikely to be forewarned; more likely that it would come unheralded.  The breadth of everything you once knew obliterated into a scream of abstract nothingness in a quick spasm as you sat to take a restful shit or stepped in to kiss your wife after a long day of work.  Yet still, civilization’s death loomed inevitability like the long shadow of work on an early Tuesday morn.

The radio DJ prattled on about the weather, his fake charm nestled in every phonetic uttering.   Deliverance of the streaming rot into the hollow shell of my skull; I braced for a turn felt a booger in my right nostril and picked at it lightly.  Driving to work on slow country roads was like a long slow dance with a slovenly captor.  One who was so confident in your captivity that he allowed you to stray just far enough that you might pretend you enjoyed the spoils of freedom.  In many ways it was worse than true cell block captivity.

lights out-22

 

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