Saturday, January 21.
I drove Princess back to her place. It was still early, 8:30 or so, and I felt nervous. In little over half an hour I would take the train to Antwerp. I was going to take the train with The Boy. It would be our first moment alone ever and the goal was for him to shoot enough photographs for his exam.
Ping said my phone.
It was a message from The Boy.
I’ll catch the train, you will too?
It was his way to check if I hadn’t forgotten or was still asleep.
I texted back
I dropped Princess of at her place and noticed his car was still parked at the house. It made no sense to ask if he would hop in my car as he had made it clear he would be at the station.
We kissed, Princess and I, and then I drove to the train station where I parked my car. Bought a ticket. It was 8:40 and I had plenty of time as the train would arrive at 09:01.
At 8:51 I informed The Boy
I’m at the station
8:54 The Boy texted
Could you get a ticket for me already?
I knew paying for him, a drink, lunch, was something he would not like because it would make him feel too close to me.
8:59 and from far I could see the train approaching. No sign of The Boy though.
9:00 and some seconds
The Boy arrived at the station running like a madman.
“Hold the train,” he yelled. He made a move as if he was going to cross the tracks.
“Don’t you dare,” I hollered.
The ticket inspector grabbed his whistle.
“Please, hold the train for 30 seconds, please,” I asked him.
The Boy and I got on the train, the door closed and we found a place to sit.
Our adventure had begun.
We chatted about nothing in special but I sensed he felt okay being with me and so did I. He told me due to the cold weather his car did not start well and he had to scrape the ice from his windshield.
Twenty minutes later we arrived at Antwerp Central. He wanted to shoot on a market were more exotic fruit and stuff is sold. The light was great but it was freezing cold.
I was happy being on the street again shooting with the Ricoh. He did his thing, at some occasions he showed me what he had made, asked a few questions.
After an hour he got bored. I understand. He is not into photography but he needs the pictures to get his diploma.
He also needed a city-scape so we walked to the MAS, a well know museum in Antwerp. I watched him make a photograph from a spot I knew every year a zillion tourists use to make the same image.
I told him so, told him to look around, try something different, look for an angle. It was no use really so I did not insist.
We went to the roof terrace of the museum. One has a beautiful view over Antwerp and its surroundings.
After that we walked back to the station where we grabbed a bite to eat. Then on the train and half an hour later we were back home.
I said goodbye, he thanked me and that was that.
I had a blast. I like him very much. Actually we did talk a lot. He wanted to know where I was born, what I had studied and so on. The Boy talked about his projects, his future.
He wanted to know if my daughters like Princess and I told him they did. He smiled and made some wisecrack about the situation with Princesses’ kids and me.
We did not discuss photography.
Did we bond? Hard to say. It is kept secret by the future.
It was a first one, our field trip. I admit, I was feeling quite a bit nervous the evening before the event.
It enabled me to connect with photography again. I enjoyed shooting again very much.
Anyway, this morning, it is now Wednesday, I loaded some of my professional studio flashes and other gear in Princesses’ car. The Boy also needed to make a few studio shots.
Looking back I had a great morning and he is really a funny and swell guy.
Yeah, I like The Boy.
I really do.