I lift the filter coffee to my lips, close my eyes and breathe in hundreds of miles of America – gas stations, roadside diners, and bar & grills drift past; solitary vehicles caress smooth roads born in beautiful vistas. I open my eyes and gaze at my fiancée. We have stopped for a late lunch in a café in Essex.
We spend a long time in the café; we talk about holidays – Christmas: our first successful roast for the family; and about our plans for next week. When we finish our food the waitress bustles over to clear up. I wrap my hand around my mug to keep it safe, and can see the faint steam billow up then wipe away. The waitress slows as she picks up our plates.
“That’s a lovely camera. Is it a Christmas present?”
“Thank you.” I say. I contemplate explaining that I have had it a while and that it was a present from me, to me. “It is, yeah.”
We pay our bill and head outside. There is a line of trees around the car park that wrap us in a secluded forest in the centre of town. The wind brushes the delicate branches. As we drive away from the café and head for home the colour in the sky starts to shift, and what little cloud cover that had bobbed along begins to disappear. We make a detour and stop near the beach close to where we live, and wait for the sun to set. A family skips across the sand as the world turns to greys, but embers of colour play over the horizon and silhouette the evening.
We pick up our cameras.