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What We Didn’t Know

Seth was a photographer who usually took pictures of abandoned places. Some people believe he was drunk. Some people believe it was a suicide. I believe he was taking a picture and lost track of time and had miscalculated the speed of the approaching train. I believe he was so caught up in his art, he didn’t blink. He had wanted to get it right. Pieces of Seth were collected in the morning at sunrise – a foot – a finger there – a mesh of flesh and bone here.

When I went to Seth’s funeral, I saw something that seemed unbelievable. His camera was recovered and the film was developed. Along the wall of the VFW hall were the photos he took that night. You could see the headlight of the train in distance. Then, you could see the light illuminating the tracks. You see the light of the train closer. You see it closer and closer. Then all you saw was the headlight.

What we know is that the camera survived the collision and was flung to the left of the train. What we know is that when the camera was tossed and bounced onto the sharp train rocks, another picture had been snapped. This photo, you see the train passing.


S du Bois

S du Bois is a Polish-American writer. He was born in Chicago and raised near the Gary steel mills in Northwest Indiana. He is a co-founder and editor at Coordenadas. He won the Nopales con Cielo Award for non-fiction and fiction. He will complete his two novels: The Hospital and The Line by December 2018.