(PHOTOS) America From Behind the Camera

5 years ago

All photos taken and copyrighted by Jeremy Page.

He was so engrossed in his food, but for me, the supersized neon burger that loomed on the wall over his shoulder seemed like the man’s thought bubble. The thing he ‘should’ have ordered. So many chairs in there, too, ranging from an infant’s high chair to utilitarian plastic ones and a single wooden one for an older generation, it seems the whole family are represented here in this picture in their absence. But the man eats alone, because true appetite is a selfish experience.

A bottle tree, but also a puzzle – the more you drink, the harder it is to reach up and fix your bottle, it’s like that checkers game played with shots of bourbon, the more you win, the more you drink, the harder it gets to win.

On a quiet back road in Alabama, I stopped the car and followed a trail of broken furniture which led straight into this house. I stood in there quite a while, my shoes crunching on broken glass, looking at a rage that seemed so total it had even stripped the linings off the walls. It felt like a tornado had hit the house from the inside, leaving the outside unharmed. It was a very depressing place.

The size of this car-park was enormous. It felt more like an airport apron, with a clearly marked arrow signaling where all the other unwanted and permanently shut diners should land and where they should then taxi to.

The bunched up ribbon of the road seems to pull the distance closer, the light at the end of it seems to stretch forever. Sometimes, America looks just like the image you wanted America to look like.

This was in Cherokee, near the Smoky Mountains national park. I like the distance between the porch and the barrel-seat. Every home has its satellites, orbiting at a precise distance to them, where you can sit and feel free. I also liked the way that nature seemed to be overgrowing this place, growing fingers over the roof and threading across the porch and literally sucking it back into the trees.

In Clarksdale, Mississippi. After I took this picture, a man came out and offered to cook me some French toast.

There was no button, and no nut man.

I was struck by this piece of anti-war art. The soldiers, round the edge, were the same ones I used to play with, as a child. All their heads had been removed, before their bodies were encased in hard resin. I couldn’t help wondering what had happened to the heads. A lot of anger has been put into making this plaque – it’s a small piece of wood, but it’s fixed in place with fifteen screws.

Jeremy Page is the author of Sea Change. Discuss Sea Change now in BlogHer Book Club.

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