I saved the background for this image a long time ago… many months. I found it at Flickr after I had started saving information about the sources for my collaging material (which is—after that point in time—clearly marked under Creative Commons as work that can be remixed).
It is the original work of Konrad Roziewski, and it has always seemed to me to be such a sweet image, the capture of a woman’s tender smile in a way that makes me think the photograph was taken with great care, perhaps with love. I kept it, and every once in a while I thought I should leave it alone, because I was never going to be able to find elements that would help me tell a story with it.
But I found a little guy. I spotted him at one of the best places to find collaging material: a gay blog sans nudity. It is perhaps unfortunate that the greatest admirers of the male form (via the Internet) seem to be men, as that leaves us women way behind in the race for objectifying respectfully drooling over the opposite sex through Internet websites and galleries. :D
As it’s generally the case when I’m collaging something, a story with dialogue began to play in my head. Once upon a time there was this woman, and she was in bed, not because she was tired, or sleeping, or sick. She was well physically, but in emotional turmoil. As she lay there, she was wondering what to do next. Her little man had lied to her, you see.
It hadn’t been a big thing. He isn’t capable of big things, she half joked to herself now, but it stung nonetheless. As she remained there, almost not moving, she saw the slightest tension stretch a section of her bed cover. He was scaling up the side of the bed.
Slowly, she thought. Hah! There have been plenty of times you’ve made your way to the top much faster than that… but now you don’t really know if I’m about to flush you down the toilet, or pack your little things, which I made for you, you little rat- And then she stopped herself. C’mon, he’s not a rat. That’s mean.
They are bigger than him, after all.
She had to contain a giggle compounded by the emergence of his little head by the side of the bed. It was blue, covered as it was by a beanie she made him from one section of a toe sock, and it matched his eyes. His lying eyes. The Eagles song attempted to begin playing in her head, and she smothered it with a mental punch as she watched him take toy steps toward her.
She moved a hand and derived great pleasure from seeing him stagger from her movement as she tucked it under her cheek. Maybe he had thought she had been about to slap his body, or maybe it was just instinct driven by remorse, or fear. She allowed herself a little smile. She wanted him to be sorry, not frightened for his life.
He reached her side and stood on the bed, only inches away from her face. He was still panting from the climb, and any other time she would have scooped him up into her hand and placed him on the softness of her chest for a nice pretense of rest, but now she remained still, and waited.
His hand traveled the minimal distance to his forehead, where he wiped sweat off his brow. He then pressed his knuckles on his beanie-covered temple, as though that would help him think. His hand was still there when he muttered softly, “I’m sorry”.
What to do next?