Shelby Hinte is a writer from southern New Mexico. She currently lives in west Oakland with her cat. She studied writing and literature at California College of the Arts. Her work can be found in > kill author and Humble Pie.
Sent a series in to forget what appears to be a perfect road trip. Everything’s worth documenting, especially her. Overexposed pretending to be an angel (Slide #2), but you capture her dark side in bars beneath cities. Slide #8: darkness and smoke, walls, black eyes and rosy cheeks escape them.
Some time after the trip you stumble upon the slides. Actually you stumble upon an old Nike box beneath the bed in your apartment. Spring-cleaning and the box was covered in dust and suffering from some kind of water damage. Couldn’t guess what was in it. Open it. Take contents out. Newfound guilty pleasure. Go to the thrift store three blocks from your apartment tomorrow morning. Buy a carousel projector (you pawned the last one you owned with the old camera). Install projector next to your bed. Load slides from the water-damaged Nike box. Project images on the brick wall across from you.
Shoulder-length black hair and desert window down. Summer in the desert and the A.C. is busted.
Filling up the car. Did this a lot. She gets one of your gap tooth you don’t hide, this is a road trip and everything is always funny, especially when gas is this cheap.
Police lights shine, a horizon of swirling blue. This time she’s in the backseat. Take a second to snap a photo before you pull over. This makes her laugh. You catch the onset of a grin in this photo. Photograph the officer next. She laughs harder. Pull back onto the freeway with two sheets of paper, a ticket, and a photo that’ll one day be too hard to keep.
Watch as the empty slots of the carousel project on the wall of your apartment, just a square of flickering light on brick and mortar. This will be your new guilty pleasure.
At approximately 2:15 p.m. pull two slices of white bread out from the bag on the counter next to the coffee pot. Take one slice pre-packaged Kraft Single slice cheese and two slices bologna. Sandwich the Kraft single with the two slices bologna. Sandwich this with the two slices white bread. Take off your pants to be more comfortable. You don’t need them anyway. You are an artist and your apartment is your studio. You only put them on to feel professional. Pull Kodak Carousel 850 projector out from beneath your bed. Pull out slides from water-damaged Nike box and add them to carousel. Eat your sandwich and watch the carousel adjust itself eighty times to make a full circle. The length of time this takes is undetermined, but you always have one bite left of your sandwich. Do this for exactly five months, three weeks, and two days.
Decide this guilty pleasure is unhealthy. Decide these slides are too hard to keep. You never wear pants to work anymore. You have not done anything in the studio for weeks except await lunch break. You have become totally unprofessional. Hear of some artist who accepts photos like this. Tomorrow, send them in a package without a note to said artist.
Some years later an art gallery is filled with images. This gallery is down the street from where you live. You have begun wearing pants again. You no longer eat bologna. The art gallery fills with people. In the corner of the gallery is a Kodak Carousel 850 projector. Slots 1-57 are filled. Slots 58-80 are left empty.