Sunday, June 17, 2012

Story of a Photo: ¡Qué sonido tan triste cuando se acaba!

Anjanette Delgado, ¡Qué sonido tan triste cuando se acaba! Rome, 2008
Sometimes, I fight with my husband. And once, when I fought with my husband, he wasn't yet my husband, which is probably the reason I felt perfectly entitled to get some space. In Italy. This was in 2008 and I had never been to Italy or planned a trip so quickly. I arrived in Venice's Piazza San Marco in the pouring rain of a September night, then traipsed all over Florence and Rome determined to show him that he was wrong and I was right. A whole other continent's worth of right. 

Now, before I go on, I have to tell you, if I haven't already, that I wrote the book... well, okay, a book, on heartbreak, and have three heartbreak maxim's to share with you for when you'd like to act like an adult, but can't because you're in too much pain over him, or her, or it. (As you may know, sometimes hims and hers can act like total its.)
The first maxim is to change your hair in some fabulously drastic, over the top way that turns you into a whole other person. The second is to travel to a faraway place unknown to you, and the third is to create something to share with others. Works every time. 

And so, by the time I got to Rome, I'd straightened my hair to Manga doll levels, and gotten rust-colored highlights. I had not yet created anything, but I had begun to rethink my stance, and to panic. I'd said too many things I now wanted to take back but couldn't. (They were pretty bad, probably because, unaware I'd want to take them back, I'd given myself free rein to be, you know, creative.)

As I sat there in a fabulous book bar thinking of all these things (Yes, they have book bars over there!), sipping hot chocolate with a shot of espresso, the weirdest thing came to me: the Nestle Chocolate Rabbit commercials of my childhood. 

In it, the rabbit would try to sip slowly to make things last, but his enthusiasm would get away from him and he would finish the glass of chocolatey milk with a huge slurp, after which he'd say: ¡Qué sonido tan triste cuando se acaba." (It's so sad the noise it makes when it ends.)

The song rang in my head again and again, feeling to me like a pair of bookends One bookend, my childhood, when that phrase meant singing and laughing and annoying my mother with my immitation of the rabbit during dinner. The other, clear to me in that fabulous cafe miles away from all I knew, was the realization that the sound it makes when it ends is silence of the noisy, regret-caused kind. And then I knew exactly what I had to do. I fished my cell phone out of my pocket and took the snapshot at the top of this post, and then, not done creating, I searched for a cyber cafe from which to call my then boyfriend to let him know I was coming home.

***Bonus #1: just found a video of the commercial on Youtube. (I love Youtube!)

Bonus #2: The photo as I printed it, is part of a limited edition I exhibited in 2010 at Zu Gallery in Miami. But if you like the picture, you're welcome to download and print your own version of it. Enjoy.  

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