Other Families’ Photos

A pile of old photographs.The antique mall reeks of nicotine-stained cotton and cold cream. I hunt vintage cufflinks; he buys other families’ photos. Groups of redheads are his Grail. Beach vacations. Weddings. Christmases. Everyone’s always fucking smiling. At home, he removes their faces with an X-Acto knife and glues them onto puzzle blanks. After I go to bed, he plunges reused espresso grounds through vodka in a French Press and reassembles the puzzle pieces into new narratives, families of cardinal strangers that somehow fit with each other. In the mornings I find him passed out; there is always a piece missing – a ginger orphan.

Rich Gravelin writes from the woods of Central Maine. Recent publications include Molecule (A Tiny Lit Mag), 50 Give or Take; 50-Word Stories, and others.

Photo Credit: SamPriestley26

4 Responses to “Other Families’ Photos”

  1. Sharon Boyle says:

    loved it all the through but esp the ending

  2. detour says:

    a ginger orphan – brilliant ending to a glimpse at a life together

  3. Franciss Dykstra says:

    Harrowing and beautiful at the same time!

  4. George Manka says:

    It’d poetry, Rich.

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