She raced up the steps to the top of the parking garage. She knew the perfect spot to catch the last gasp of the sun as it set upon Seattle from her location at the university campus.
As she climbed the stairs she pulled out her mobile phone, readying the camera. At the spot she was anticipating to take the photo a tall figure stood, elbows raised. She was not alone in her mission to catch the sunset. It was a man about her age, slightly taller. He was holding his mobile phone, steadying it as he tried to get the autofocus to shift its attention on the spectacular view.
Brushing aside her usual trepidation around new people she walked up next to him. Although he was attractive, that alone would not be good reason to trust him. She pushed out thoughts of bad horror films set in parking garages; getting the perfect shot was more important than paranoia or embarrassment and he was standing in the exact perfect spot. Besides, it was about the art. They were mobile phone photographers, hunting for beauty. Capturing. Sharing.
As she took her shot, he glanced at her.
“Are you going to tweet this?” he asked.
“ha, yeah, probably through instagram,” she replied.
“it’s breathtaking isn’t it?
She despised small talk but it was breathtaking and she had to agree. Her enthusiasm was bolstered by the beautiful view. She thought of all the sunsets she had watched in her life. Some romantic, some heart breaking; a full range of emotions and memories swept through her. This was the first sunset she could remember that was merely an introduction, a first meeting.
“I’m going to tag it #SeattleSunset” she mused aloud, not really to him but more as a note to herself.
“I have a lot of adjectives I’d like to use too. Tags are imperfect. So many ways to describe a moment. How can you tag a summer breeze?”
She glanced at him sideways, not able to tell if he was being facetious or solemnly serious, “#summerbreeze?” she quipped, “I read that The tag is the soul of the internet, you know. Clive Thompson said instagram is like that poem, Thirteen ways to look at a Blackbird. I can’t stop thinking about that”
She finished uploading her gorgeous sunset to instagram and tagged it #SeattleSunset.
“I read Collision Detection too. Heh. Well, I guess you and Clive have got a point,” he said, “Oh, dear. I’m late. Best be on my way,” and with that, he gave a huge smile, turned and walked away.
She stood there and stared at his back for a moment. Two small pieces of paper slipped out from the folder he was holding under his arm and floated silently to the concrete floor. A small breath of air came out of her mouth, but no sound. She watched him disappear.
She turned on her heel and walked in the other direction towards the other staircase, to go down to the second level to her parked car.
Later that evening when she scanned through her instagram feed, she came upon her Seattle sunset photo again. Impulsively she clicked the #SeattleSunset tag which brought her to a set of 158 pictures all tagged the same.
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe
So many images of the same stunning sun, multiple perspectives, one tag. Skies of red, yellow, purple, blue and gold with intense fluttered clouds were framed by dark silhouetted trees, deciduous and conifers; buildings, from the space needle to low flat strip malls; horizons ranged from very high to very low or non-existent. They all shared that one desire to capture that Seattle sunset and now were linked through their tag.
Would her parking garage rooftop co-conspirator be among them? She couldn’t decide if she should look really intently with that purpose.
If it was meant to be, their tags would align again in the future, she figured.
The tag is the soul of the internet.
I am sad to report this is a complete work of fiction but I do need to give special thanks to @injenuity for her Flash Fiction inspiration (which I just may make a DS106 assignment because I like it so much) and her instagram photo of a Seattle sunset and her subsequent tweets>.
I have tagged this as Visual Assignment 272: Picturing Prufrock, because my drawing is an illustration of a poem, just not specifically T.S. Elliot’s poem. I am taking the assignment in the broadest sense. Artistic license!