Aberrant perspective

One jacket too big, and the associated head too small.

One jacket too small, and the associated legs too big.

A bodiless hand associated with someone else’s shoulder.

Aquarium: a mouth-breather behind glass.

In the bowl a white backdrop hanging crooked in front of another layer, this one black.

Liljenquist Collection of Civil War Photographs, Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016652803/. Post-processed to restore contrast and color.

To make Freaks, Tod Browning didn’t need freaks. All he needed was the human: that which is aberrantly normal.

The night he finishes editing “Freaks,”

Tod Browning sleeps an undisturbed sleep. This night, however, hour by hour, his bed in the dark is becoming shared with another body. The body hasn’t yet awakened from the sleep in which it was created, but after it opens its eyes it will see Tod, the man whose camera penetrated the dark and forced it to dream body into being. In their bed in that first awakening, Tod and the body will open their mouths and say to each other:

“We accept you. One of us.”