“In the afternoon”

Words and photographs by Pierre Solomon (2017)


I awoke each day in the afternoon,

Drained, Brooding.

I was staying in Israel for a month, and I was more depressed than I had ever been.

Why now ?.

This was supposed to be my getaway.

A soft pink bed sheet held both the window and the sun, dressing the room in a sepia tone. It felt like an old cinema movie. There was a wooden framed mirror against the wall that showed me from head to toe. I liked me from shoulder to toe. I stood in front of it everyday. It was the first thing I did. Every day. Every single day. I stood in front of the mirror and waited for things to change.

Things were changing,
but not for the better.



My brother and his girlfriend were staying in the other room across the apartment. I couldn’t hear them having sex. I was happy about this. I enjoyed the apartment we were staying in. It was simple. White walls, wood floors, bathroom, small kitchen, dining table, couple of fake plants, couch, an old tv and big windows that opened wide. The windows were my favorite part. I liked to look out from them whenever I smoked cigarettes. It made smoking feel meaningful. From there I watched the sky, and the street cats come and go. There were hardly any people that walked by, just an older couple that occasionally talked in their front yard.

I’d stand there for awhile after smoking,

eventually closing the windows
and returning to the mirror.


<Days pass>

I awoke in the afternoon,

My eyes seemed as if they had gotten use to not adjusting.
It didn’t matter to me though. Not much did at this point. I had been in my room for most of my stay now.  My brother knocked here and there inviting me out, but I denied. I felt my way to the bathroom, and turned on the light. I looked terrible. My hair was faint, my beard was scraggly, and my eyes had grown dark and slightly swollen.
I drowned my face in cold water, and felt my way to the kitchen.

I drank beer after beer until it gave me the confidence I was looking for.

Got dressed,
Grabbed my camera,
Passport,

and took a walk.  






We were staying in Petah Tikva, a city in the central district of Israel. This was my first time roaming by myself, so with every turn made I jotted it down immediately. It was busy out. People filled the sidewalks, and buses and mopeds filled the streets. I had just finished taking pictures of a group of boys playing soccer at a park, and was now stuck on which direction to go next. In front of me was a pink and white building that reminded me of Florida, so I decided to turn on that street and just keep straight.






I walked down the street for about 5 minutes and to my right I saw the color blue. It was a girl in her pajamas sitting on a porch. I couldn’t tell if she was my age or not, I could only see her from a side view. So as soon as I passed by, I instantly turned right back around and walked passed again for a second glimpse.
Then again, and again, and again until I was pacing back and forth like a mad scientist.

“Fuck it” I said to myself.

Standing about 20 feet away behind a bush like a fucking creep.
“Excuse me..” … “Excuse me..”

A bit confused,
she looked over and replied,
“Yes ? ..” 
making her hand as a brim to block the sun out of her eyes.

Nervously,
“Hey, um, I’m a photographer visiting from America, and um, I’m just um, walking around and taking pictures with my camera, and um, I was wondering if um … I could take your picture ?”

"My picture ?”
she replied. 
“For what?..”

More nervously,
“Um, just for like some um ..  memories and um, maybe for my website maybe, I don’t know..”
then quickly I asked
“Do you mind if I have a seat ?” 

Without hesitation,
she replied “sure”.
I walked up the pathway and sat directly across from her.
Her hair was all over, and fading from both blue and purple.
She had bags under her eyes and her nails were dirty.

She was absolutely beautiful.





“Do you smoke ?”
she asked.

“Yep”
I said.

She then grabbed a small ziplock bag from her side and started rolling a spliff.

“You dress funny, I like it”
she said.

I had on a pink hat,
yellow t-shirt,
navy blue short shorts,
white socks,
and green and red adidas.

“Thanks” I said,

“Whats your name ?”

“Eden, 
what’s yours ?”

“Pierre” 

“Oh,
are you like French or something ?”

“Yes”
(You filthy fucking liar)
I thought to myself.

“My dad is french,
but I never met him or learned the language”.
I took a good hit of the spliff, and passed it back to her.

“So you say you take pictures”
“Can you show me some on your camera ?”

“Well this is a film camera,
so I can’t show you any that I’ve taken until I get the film developed”

‘But I can show you my website”

“Yea ! show me show me !”

My style of photography was odd to most people.

It involved a  lot of nude bodies, mixed with fruit.  

Laughing widly,

she then said
“These are fucking crazy !”

Her eyes continued to light up as she scrolled.

“Wow and people just let you take pictures of them nude like this ??”

“Yep”

“So what do you say to them ??
Are you just like hey can I photograph you naked with fruit ??”

“Pretty much”

“that is so crazy !”

“A little bit”

“It’s so cool though, it’s very different”

“Why thank you”

I then showed her some nature portraits that I had recently began working on.

“Wow, these are beautiful”
“I would actually buy these and hang them in my room, seriously”

“Thank you !”

“I’ve been working more on my fine art photography if you will”.

Eden and I laughed,

Talked,

and smoked some more.

She finished the spliff, then she stood up and said.

“Well it was nice meeting you,
but now I have to get ready for work”.

“Well hey do you have whatsapp ?”
I asked

“Maybe we can hangout again,
I’m here for another week”.

“Yea sure, I would love to. my whatsapp is...”

I later found my way back to my apartment. 

Hot shower,
Cold pillow,
A smile.





Eden and I hungout the very next day. 

We met back up at her porch where I first saw her.

But instead of her faded blue/purple hair,
it was brown.

We took a walk around the city,
and then we sat at the park from morning till night.

We talked about life,
and shared our feelings with each other.

She even saw me cry. 






The rest of my stay in Israel was amazing. 

I started getting out of my head (some) 

My brother eventually got me out of the apartment more.
 
We spent time in Tel Aviv, Ra'anana, Dimona, Eliat, and Jerusalem.

We even almost got killed in the middle of the desert by a Palestinian man

(Good times)

I didn’t take as many pictures as I intended,

But maybe that was a good thing.

I was living in the moment.

Our last night was spent at the dead sea !

Which was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

If you ever go,

Just be careful not to get water in your eyes 

It hurts like a bitch ! 



- Israel (2017)